Fri, 25th October 2013

Employment Programme Proves a Big Hit!

A third of all participants at the recent Big Hit pre-employment programme have already gone on to secure jobs after being out of work for over 6 months.

Twenty seven young learners from Trafford took part in a five day intensive course to develop their employability skills as part of a new pre-employment programme at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

“The Big Hit” programme was piloted at Emirates Old Trafford earlier this month and provided participants, identified through Job Centre Plus, with a range of qualifications, skills and experience before putting them in front of real employers with real job vacancies. Students were presented with a certificate and sporting gift at LCCCs AJ Bell Player & Media Centre upon completion of the course.

LCCC Foundation worked in partnership with Trafford College, Job Centre Plus, Trafford Council and the National Careers Service to provide local Trafford residents aged 18-25 with the relevant skills and training to support them back into the jobs market. With 1.09 million people aged 16 – 24 not in education, employment or training (NEETS) in the UK, Trafford College has been working closely with Job Centre Plus and the National Careers Service to address the problem and engage some of societies hardest to reach young people. The project uses the power of cricket and the draw of Lancashire County Cricket Club to help develop teamwork, career planning, and communication & presentation skills through a series of fun and engaging activities designed to improve each participant’s self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem.

On hand to celebrate the students’ achievements was LCCC Director of Cricket and former Lancs and England player, Mike Watkinson. He commented, “The skills I learned whilst in education and in my early career still help me in my role now. When I finished playing cricket I realised the value of education, and I completed my coaching qualifications which led me onto my role as coach for LCCC. Despite succeeding in my career, I still make an effort to push myself outside my comfort zone when it comes to work. It’s important to remember that it isn’t ok to just survive in business. There is always scope for improvement, whether that is in sport or business. I’d advise anyone to step back and take a look at where you are now and where you want to get to. Don’t just muddle along, but make a shift and make an improvement.”


Michelle Carney, Foundation Director, LCCC Foundation added, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Trafford College, Job Centre Plus, Trafford Council and the National Careers Service to pilot The Big Hit pre-employment programme. Providing skills and training opportunities for local people is a key driver for the Foundation and through this innovative programme, we will use the inspirational setting of Emirates Old Trafford to inspire, educate and engage communities through cricket.”


Employers involved in the programme also turned out to celebrate the event. Gary Robinson, Director, TNT Post said, “We were delighted to join the event and speak to local job seekers in the Trafford area.  It is important that employers and councils work together to find employment opportunities for the local community.”


Two students who successfully completed the course were Damien and Susan from Trafford. Damien commented: “I came here not really having any confidence. However as I progressed I gained so much confidence and I have made some great friends. I have had a great experience and I would recommend anyone else to do this and try new things.” Susan added, “I have learned a lot and interacted with a lot of different people which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do before. It has been a wonderful week and I would recommend anyone else to go for it.”

The Foundation are currently liaising with all partners involved to plan a regular pre-employment programme for delivery in 2014.
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