A youth employment service in Pendle has reached a milestone, having supported 500 young people in the borough with employment, mental health, housing problems and more since opening in 2021.
Pendle YES Hub, which is based in Nelson town centre, provides a variety of support for people aged 16 to 24. This includes help with applying for work, free training, free social activities and sports to boost the confidence of attendees and direct access to local mental health and housing support services.
The Hub also helps local businesses recruit by identifying potential candidates for job vacancies on behalf of employers, after having already provided them with the training and experience they need to work in a variety of jobs.
Of the 500 young people who have registered with Pendle YES Hub to access different services, 406 have received support to improve their employability. While some then use their new skills and experience to apply for work in their own time, 156 of these have found jobs or apprenticeships directly through the team.
Adnan Irfan, aged 21, is one of these. He first visited the employment service in September 2022 as he was looking for work and wanted to gain new skills to support this.
The support led to Adnan taking part in a work placement with Morrisons that included free training, leading to him gaining a Level 2 Customer Service qualification.
The placement and training was arranged by Pendle YES Hub partners Positive Action in the Community (PAC), through their work delivering the employment programme MPT Steps, and led to Adnan later finding a job at Tim Hortons.
Adnan said, “Pendle YES Hub helped me build my confidence back after 2 years of lockdown. The courses provided at the Hub helped me secure a job that I enjoy and look forward to. Their activities have boosted my morale and encouraged me to get out more and be active.”
“The support received from the Hub is insightful and varied. I’ve had help securing a job, including employment meetings...talking about jobs I have had and where I see myself in the future. I had wellbeing sessions with Lancashire Mind (based at the Hub on Thursdays) talking about college, university and my mental health. I’ve also received support through the physical activities – the sports and hiking helping provide an escape from my regular routine.”
Wavecrest, an International telecommunications provider, have a Customer Service Centre based in Nelson and are one of many businesses who have received recruitment support through the service.
Paul Flanagan, head of customer service at Wavecrest, said, "I had been struggling with recruitment in the area for a couple of months. I wanted to engage with a company that invested in the community and helped the younger generation. I visited Pendle YES Hub and it became apparent this is what I was looking for.
"As a result they put forward a couple of candidates for a vacancy, a really good mix that met our specifications. After interviews within Pendle YES Hub itself and our Customer Service Centre we recruited a successful candidate. Within our business it is very important to find people with excellent customer service skills and we did with their support."
The successful candidate, Brandon Carmody, said, "I attended a job fair at Pendle YES Hub. At the time, what was on offer wasn't suitable but I spoke to an advisor at the Hub who then let me know about the Wavecrest role. A year and half after my interview, I'm still there and it's the happiest I've ever been in any job. I get to speak to people all around the world and the office is very welcoming.
"The best thing about being employed is the confidence it gives you, knowing that when you want to do something you can afford to do it. If you are having a bad day, by going into work you've got someone you can talk to and never feel alone whereas when you're unemployed a bad day can really dwell."
Pendle YES Hub is delivered in partnership by Active Lancashire and Positive Action in the Community (PAC) on behalf of Pendle Council.