Two West Midlands-based companies have joined forces to help unemployed homeless people get back into work.

Walsall-based food distribution and retail company, AF Blakemore & Son Ltd, joined forces with Birmingham-based recruitment consultants Michael Page to deliver a programme based around breaking down barriers to employment.

The scheme forms part of Business in the Community’s Business Action on Homelessness Ready for Work programme.

Ready for Work operates alongside local homeless organisations and identifies people who are ready for employment but perhaps lack confidence or have been out of work for a long time.

Eight senior human resources professionals from AF Blakemore and Michael Page were paired up with homeless clients to develop relevant skills. The coaching session included advice on interview techniques, positive body language and dealing with difficult situations in the workplace.

AF Blakemore’s human resources director, Stephen Cloves, said: “This was the first step in AF Blakemore’s involvement in Business Action on Homelessness. We want to continue to support the project through a variety of means including further employability days, job coaching and the provision of work placements.

“We would also like to help encourage other companies to support this cause and help introduce Business Action on Homelessness to the Black Country.”

Kerry Williams, HR recruitment consultant for Michael Page, said: “In our everyday lives, we work with high-powered CVs and confident people who present really well at interviews and succeed in corporate life. As recruitment consultants, we take many of those essential skills for granted, so it was fantastic to be able to help those people who get left behind in the employment market because their homelessness deprives them of those skills.”

Anyone interested in Business Action on Homelessness or Ready for Work is asked to contact Nikki-Dee Smith on 0121 451 2227.