Rossendale partnership leads young people into employment

From left, Gary McEwan, Alyson Barnes, Paul Becouran (Active Lancashire Project Officer), new recruit Dylan and Cliff Adamson (Active Lancashire Employment Officer).

Four young people who have struggled to get into work have been given a life changing opportunity that has resulted in them being offered full time employment for a major manufacturer in Haslingden.

They accessed essential employment-focused training sessions and hands on work experience to boost their skills and confidence, which has directly led to job offers at Interfloor, Europe’s largest manufacturer of carpet underlay and flooring accessories.

The roles were sourced by Rossendale Works, a partnership programme led by charity Active Lancashire, Rossendale Borough Council and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Working collaboratively with the local Job Centre, Rossendale Works identifies potential candidates for vacancies, helping them to develop their skills to the needs of employers in the area.

As well as training sessions to develop CVs, interview skills and more provided by Lancashire Adult Learning, the programme places an emphasis on the value and benefits of physical activity to help improve the self-esteem of participants.

Dylan, aged 19, is one of the four successful participants employed by Interfloor. He said, “I was on the job centre for two months but within a month Rossendale Works picked me up, took me under their wing and gifted me this.”

Dylan accessed free gym and boxing sessions alongside the other candidates as part of the programme. He said, “It was very helpful with socialising. It gives a wide range of people from completely different backgrounds to come together and share experiences. All people struggling to get into work, sharing their pasts and what they want to do in the future.”

As well as work experience, Interfloor also provided participants with in-house training including on health and safety.

Gary McEwan, HR and Business Improvement Director at Interfloor, said, “It’s been a really good success rate. Six came through the programme to us, four of which have been offered positions within production and our warehouse. The youngest candidate is a budding star who has not been given the right opportunities in life. There’s a good chance we’ll push him through an engineering or technical apprenticeship.”

Rossendale Council Leader Alyson Barnes said, “We are looking forward to working with further local businesses to ensure there is a strong offer locally when they want to recruit and provide fantastic job opportunities to residents too, right on their doorstep. Not everyone wants to get in a car on the M66 every day to get to work.”

Head of Curriculum Employability, Volunteering and Skills with Lancashire Adult Learning Tom Gee said, “We were proud to work collaboratively with Rossendale Works and Interfloor to deliver the Pre-Employment Programme. Our passionate and talented teachers have worked hard with all the learners, and we were delighted that there have been four offers of employment following the interviews.”

Photo caption: From left, Gary McEwan, Alyson Barnes, Paul Becouran (Active Lancashire Project Officer), new recruit Dylan and Cliff Adamson (Active Lancashire Employment Officer).

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up