Thames Water’s ‘work skills’ scheme shows what jobless are capable of

MP Jim Fitzpatrick

MP Jim Fitzpatrick - Credit: Archant

An MP in London’s high-unemployment East End is urging bosses not to be put off when jobseekers turn up with “lack of experience”.

Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick was speaking at an East London Business Alliance reception marking the end of a three-week ‘pilot’ work experience project for a group of long-term unemployed.

“Lack of experience rather than ability prevents people stepping onto the career ladder,” the MP said. “This pilot scheme helps show employers what they are capable of.”

The group of unemployed, from all over east London, completed the course held at Thames Water which is now being rolled out elsewhere in the South East.

They got tips on interview techniques, CV writing and took part in a workshop to sharpen their IT skills while working alongside staff at several locations.

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The aim was to show those on the course what employers are looking for, while giving them practical skills and hands-on experience in a real workplace—including the huge Beckton sewage works.

The Business Alliance supported the scheme with links for jobseekers. One objective was promoting careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering which makes Thames Water “a perfect corporate partner” for the Alliance.

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The east London scheme is the first of four that Thames Water is staging over the next seven months. The others are being held in west London, Reading and Swindon.

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