A young person from Cwmbran has secured a full-time job with a local painting and decorating business, thanks to a sports-based, employment opportunity scheme and a special ‘speed dating’ event with local businesses held at a Torfaen housing organisation.
Jamie Edwards, 22, was one of seven young unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 24, who were referred by the Job Centre for Sport That Works, a ten week course supported by staff from Bron Afon Community Housing and run by local councils in Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen.
Sport That Works staff and volunteers offered coaching in writing cvs, communication skills, interview techniques and team work. Rugby, football and gym sessions followed in the afternoon.
Bron Afon staff followed up the course by inviting local businesses, including R and M Williams, Envirowall, Westdales, Felt Fab, P and P Contractors and SERS, to meet with the young people to discuss potential job opportunities. It was at this event, arranged in a ‘speed dating’ style, that Jamie impressed his new employer, R and M Williams.
Jamie said: “I thought Sport That Works was great, I learned a lot.
“The jobs fair that Bron Afon put on was a fabulous idea, it was a great experience for me. I have gained employment from it and I am really enjoying it. I would like to thank Bron Afon for supporting me.”
Lisa Charles, community investment manager, Bron Afon, said: “Sport That Works has been an innovative pilot employment programme, designed to use sport as a hook to engage young people to gain job-ready skills.
“It has truly transformed lives of young people who participated in a number of ways, such as securing employment, increasing life skills and confidence building. Alongside partners, Bron Afon are now exploring opportunities to develop programme and secure further investment.”
Some of the young people involved in Sport That Works are now volunteering with Bron Afon’s community teams and have joined the organisation’s Youth Forum. All of them are still meeting up to continue their search for jobs.