A GROUP of young job hunters received tips and advice from the employment minister at a job skills workshop run by the Co-operative.
MP for Fareham Mark Hoban dropped in at the scheme, called Feeding Britain’s Future, which was being hosted by the Co-op in West Street, Portchester.
It is a national scheme which aims to tackle youth unemployment by providing free job skills workshops in conjunction with the Job Centre.
Young people between the ages of 16 and 24 registered at the Job Centre to secure a place.
Steve Beech, 21, from Fareham, was attending the workshop. He said: ‘It’s been brilliant. It’s a lot better than what I expected. It has given me an insight and a foot in the door.’
Also attending the workshop was Hayley Fewings, from Cosham.
Hayley, 20, said: ‘This is the first time I have been to something like but it is nice to know there are people in the same situation as me.’
Mr Hoban gave his backing to the scheme and encouraged more businesses to be open to young people.
He added: ‘To tackle youth unemployment we all need to work together.
‘For the Co-op to do this and take young people in and offer training, it makes a difference. Being on this course gives them an inside track when it comes to go for a different job.
‘I’m keen for as many businesses as possible to offer work experience for young people. The best thing to do is get in touch with Job Centre and talk to one of the advisers to see how we can work together.’
Jon Stevens, from the Job Centre, said: ‘It’s brilliant. I’m really impressed with how it is had been run – it is lovely to be able to give somebody that first step to help them on their way to employment.’
During the workshops lessons were given in how to secure jobs, such as creating CVs and interview techniques.
Trainer Gary Hynes said: ‘This is the second year that the Co-op has supported this initiative. Last year was a bit of a toe in the water for us. We wanted to create a workshop that gives them an insight into the business, and how to answer interview questions to give them a bit of an inside track.’
Throughout September, the Co-operative will be one of the biggest supporters of the campaign and the Portchester store will host three days of workshops.
Across the country, the scheme, which has been led by research charity IGD, will see more than 3,000 young unemployed people attend 270 workshops in over 80 locations.
For more information on the scheme go to igd.com/feedingbritainsfuture