Liam no longer in ‘dark place’ thanks to Hull’s new career initiative

Unemployed young people in Hull are being urged to take advantage of a new career and training opportunity.

Hull holiday homes manufacturer Willerby has joined forces with the Springboard Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), a project aimed at 16 to 29-year-olds from Hull who are not in education, employment or training.

Led by Humber Learning Consortium and funded by the European Social Fund, the project has several partner organisations across the city, including Hull City Council, and offers one-to-one support for emotional wellbeing, confidence building, anxiety management and more, as well as CV writing, job searching and qualifications.

Since December 2017, Willerby has employed four young people through the scheme, in a range of production roles, including Liam Marshall and James Lewis, who are now into their fourth year with the company.

Liam, 23, was just 19 when he joined Willerby as a production labourer and has recently been promoted to jig shop operative, building walls and roofs for Willerby’s premium holiday homes on the company’s newly-opened fifth production line at its Hull headquarters.

Liam said: “I was in a dark place before I started work at Willerby. I used to work on building sites, but I didn’t have a regular job or any money and I had to sign on at the job centre.

“I found out about Springboard YEI and they helped me to sort out my CV, which led to an interview at Willerby. I got the job and I’ve got my life back on track.

From left, Willerby Head of Manufacturing Aaron Cambridge, Jo Narborough, from the Springboard Youth Employment Initiative, and workers Liam Marshall and James Lewis.

From left, Willerby Head of Manufacturing Aaron Cambridge, Jo Narborough, from the Springboard Youth Employment Initiative, and workers Liam Marshall and James Lewis.

“I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t come to Willerby. I’m now getting married, learning to drive and I’ve got my own home. I’ve stepped up, I have a big work family and I’m over the moon.”

Springboard YEI has helped more than 1,000 young people in Hull into employment, self-employment, apprenticeships, further education or training since it began in April 2016.

Jo Narborough, Hull City Council’s Springboard YEI Key Worker Project Manager, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with Willerby to help young people from our youth employment project into sustained work.

“This relationship with the UK’s largest manufacturer of holiday homes and lodges is providing much-needed skilled roles and opportunities for local 16 to 29-year-olds.

“We’re so grateful to Willerby for their support. This partnership demonstrates that our programme is giving young people the skills that renowned companies like Willerby require, along with the tools to sustain employment.”

To find out more about Springboard YEI, call 01482 612736, email [email protected], or follow @SpringboardYEI on Instagram or Facebook.

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