Medal moment as Khush secures new job
Monday 18 April 2011
A man who has beaten unemployment has got that winning feeling after finding work through a pilot pre-apprenticeship project, supported by Birmingham City Council’s Working Neighbourhoods Innovation Fund.
Khush Sidhu is training as a craftsman at internationally renowned Toye, Kenning and Spencer - one of the UK’s leading producers of medals, state insignia and corporate gifts based in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter.
His unemployment ordeal ended when he clinched the golden opportunity thanks to his own hard work and dedication, and support provided through the pilot pre-apprenticeship project and assistance from Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG).
Khush, aged 23, from Handsworth, had been out of work for around 12 months when he was approached by PPDG to see whether he would be interested in the pre-apprenticeship opportunity.
He was given training through the government-funded Work Focused Training initiative and sent on a course to develop his interview technique, CV and customer services skills in preparation for future employment. Work Focused Training provides vocational training opportunities and employability skills to 18 to 24-year-olds.
The initiative is part of the Government’s Backing Young Britain campaign, in partnership with the Future Jobs Fund and the Community Taskforce, which encourages organisations to provide young people with the opportunities they need to get into work.
When PPDG employment coach Greg Crookendale suggested the pre-apprenticeship scheme Khush jumped at the chance. After successfully completing an extensive recruitment process he is now working as a full time apprentice die sinker at Toye, Kenning and Spencer in Warstone Lane. He is enjoying every minute of his training in the highly skilled role under the expert eye of experienced die sinker Jim Baker.
Khush, who has studied graphic illustration and communications, said: “It is amazing to be working here and it has turned my life around. I have got something to look forward to each day and I am learning new skills all the time. Before getting this opportunity I was job-hunting 24/7. I really enjoy my new role and especially the creative work I’m involved in.
“It is a highly skilled job and there is so much to learn. Being unemployed is so frustrating but now things are definitely looking a lot brighter. I’ve got a new flat and a career to look forward to - I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.”
PPDG’s team of employment experts provide advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives including Flexible New Deal, Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Learndirect and many ESF funded programmes. More than 100,000 job seekers have been helped into sustained employment by the company since the projects began. It has trained 130,000 people in vocational skills, and over 175,000 people have benefitted from professional information, advice and guidance services.