Organisers of a scheme to help rid Birmingham of its unemployment epidemic and get people back into work say they have saved the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The Connection to Opportunities (C2O) project, which has been developed by the East Birmingham North Solihull Regeneration Zone, helps companies to access mentoring and coaching to support the long-term unemployed once they have a job.
The scheme, which was initiated after the unemployment rate in East Birmingham and North Solihull rose to 27 per cent of the working age population, has created 62 mentors and helped 56 people starting new jobs.
Chief executive Graham Edwards said: This project, unlike others, taps into the knowledge and skills of co-workers and supervisors in their own workplace, which offers a huge cost saving when compared to conventional approaches.
“Supporting companies in this way has proved to be a success and we have businesses from more than ten different sectors currently involved, ranging from aviation and transport to leisure and healthcare.” The £200,000 project provides a three-day programme of interactive workshops designed to equip managers with the principles of mentoring and coaching in the workplace.
It aims to use Advantage West Midlands funding to improve the employability skills of new recruits through problem solving and constructive feedback.
Project director Janet Chisholm said: “It costs employers an average of £8,200 every time they have to replace a member of staff so immediately there are financial advantages by ensuring new people are retained.”
Avation services firm Servisair, based at Birmingham International Airport, is among those to use the C2O project.
Aman Gahlan, recruitment and training officer, said the project was timely.
Mr Gahlan said: “With the Midlands being hit hard with redundancies, we feel in a privileged position to still be recruiting and the new skills we have gained are being used to help starters build confidence and become valuable members of the Servisair team.”