Seventy per cent of the young people to have graduated from the employment academy set up by CR Smith chairman Gerard Eadie CBE have gone on to have a brighter future.
Of the 27 young people to attend The Handpicked Academy, which recently played host to its third intake, 15 have secured jobs and five have taken up further education.
The Academy offers a week-long training course for young people who have been struggling to secure employment despite attending countless interviews.
Its latest ‘class’ was given the opportunity to experience different occupations, the chance to speak to CR Smith senior management about their experiences, and take part in a number of workshops covering the likes of social etiquette, expectations within the workplace and confidence.
Students were also subjected to a practise interview on their last day and visited the CR Smith manufacturing plant in Cowdenbeath where they witnessed products being produced first-hand.
Eadie, who set up his own business aged 20 and has owned and chaired CR Smith since 1977, said: “Getting a job in today’s market is a job in itself and requires a positive attitude. The Academy aims to give young people the confidence needed to improve their chances of gaining employment and we have proven that it works. Many of those who have undertaken our course have gone on to have successful interviews and secure employment because of the training we have provided them.
“Hand Picked is about kick-starting a young person’s career and offering them something they can’t find anywhere else – the chance to speak to professionals about how to get the job they really want. The Academy allows the participants to think about how they should be presenting themselves in an interview and on paper, as well as being able to receive some honest feedback that could help them secure a job.”
The course is delivered by project manager Pauline Braisby, who works with young people all year round to help them secure work.
Participant Kimberley Rankin, 24, from Cowdenbeath, said: “I would definitely recommend the Academy to others, it is the most helpful course I have been on and really provided me with the vital skills and experience I need to get the job I really want. I couldn’t have got this anywhere else.”
Ashley Lorimer, 21, from Oakley, who took part in the September Academy said: “I feel my confidence has increased significantly as a result of the Academy. I still have a lot to improve on but the course has given me the starting-point I need to set me on the right direction. I couldn’t recommend the course enough and would encourage anyone struggling to find a job to get in touch with Hand Picked.”
The next Academy, for which 16-24-year-olds who are actively seeking work are invited to apply, is scheduled to start on January 18 2016.