People, Places, Business

Two years and counting

Two years and counting at Neath Town Council

Three residents of Neath Port Talbot have found long term sustainable employment at the local Town Council with the assistance of an EU backed employment project.

Two years and counting at Neath Town Council.

With the support of South West Workways, Russell Baker, Tina Rees and Sarah Williams all successfully gained employment at Neath Town Council over the past two years and are still gainfully employed serving the local community.

South West Workways is supported by the European Social Fund, through the Welsh Government. The project supports people to overcome the barriers which prevent them from finding work

Russell Baker, 61 from Baglan worked for thirty years as a Team Leader and Erector in the steel industry, and took early retirement from Tata Steel in the Spring of 2011. Keen for a change in employment and environment, Russell self referred to the Workways project in hope of finding a new career path.

Russell required assistance in updating his CV and attended Workways jobsearch sessions to carry this out and start applying for vacancies. Within a month, a temporary position became available at Neath Town Council as an Assistant Maintenance Worker. After completing a three month temporary contract, Russell was offered a full time position with the Town Council in December 2011.

Russell said “Workways were brilliant! As soon as I signed up I had plenty of job opportunities on the table. I wasn’t pushed to take a particular job, and I’m glad I picked this one; the last two years have been great.

My Mentor was really supportive, and the Employer Liaison Officers really helped me with the application process. I can’t praise them enough” he added.

Tina Rees, 32 from Cwmafan was made redundant from her previous job in a café. Despite having previous administration experience as well, Tina was applying for jobs without any response. Once signed up with the project she was referred to Workways’ jobsearch sessions in order to kick start her route back in to employment.

Tina said “I was starting to lose confidence in myself. I wasn’t getting any luck with interviews at all. Signing up to Workways was just right for me.”

In order to overcome her low confidence levels, Tina attended a Workways’ Inspire confidence building course. Shortly afterwards, Workways set Tina up with a temporary job as a Kitchen Assistant at Neath Town Council’s Community Cafe and after proving her ability was offered a permanent position in July 2012.

“I love it here! I can’t believe it’s just over two years since I got the job. I get on really well with my colleagues; and I really enjoy meeting the people that use our café.” Tina added.

Thirty four year old Sarah Williams from Melyncrythan is also now employed by the Town Council. When referred to the Workways project, Sarah was only looking for part time hours, due to having caring responsibilities for her child. It became apparent that an office based position would be ideal for Sarah, and Workways was able to fund Sage accounts training to improve her chances of employment.

Workways sourced a temporary job at Neath Town Council as an Admin Assistant, and arranged IT training for using the Microsoft Excel package. Following her temporary contract, Sarah was offered a permanent role in the office in February 2012.

Sarah said “The job is going really well; everyone is so helpful here. Workways really helped me to find the part time hours that I needed. I’ve been so lucky to find such a flexible place to work.”

Town Clerk, Kathryn Charles said “Neath Town Council is proud to be working in partnership with Workways.

“Workways have provided the Town Council with support in the recruitment and selection of Council vacancies in the Community. Recently, we have received excellent support in filling three temporary vacancies which have developed into full time roles.

“We look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”

Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said “I am delighted once more to see the continuing success of the Workways Project and I would like to congratulate the latest recipients of this wonderful initiative on their dedication and commitment in attaining their goal. Once again I wish to express my gratitude to everyone involved with South West Workways.”