Glen Oaks celebrates five years of helping youngsters towards employment

Steven Monaghan (centre) with joiner Andy Stevenson (left) and Steven’s mentor joiner William Bennett (right)

A trail-blazing link-up between Glen Oaks Housing Association and the youth employment charity WorkingRite to give young people a training and jobs lifeline is celebrating five years of success.

In 2013 Glen Oaks teamed up with WorkingRite offering work placements with local employers in an effort to beat youth unemployment in the communities where it has its homes.

The initiative has been supported by the Scottish Government’s ‘People and Communities Fund which focuses on projects which promote social inclusion and tackle poverty including reducing the negative impact of welfare reform.

Twenty five young people a year aged 16 to 18 have participated in the WorkingRite project leading to jobs, apprenticeships and college places to help them secure a better future.

Glen Oaks has hailed the milestone as proof of how housing associations make a difference in the communities they serve.

The project is open to young people living in the Darnley, Arden and Pollok areas of Glasgow where many Glen Oaks tenants live and each opportunity typically lasts sixteen weeks.

Alasdair McKee, chief executive of Glen Oaks, said: “This initiative is helping to tackle youth unemployment which we know from the communities we serve as a housing association is a major issue causing real concern.

“Creating partnerships with employers in the local community undoubtedly helps young people make a successful transition into the workplace.

“We could not have delivered this project without the vision of WorkingRite, a host of willing employers who want to help young people get a foot on the employment ladder and, of course, the Scottish Government.”

Remarkably, last year 80% of the teenagers taking part achieved either a job or an apprenticeship.

Since it started in 2013 over 130 young people have benefited from the WorkingRite-Glen Oaks link up.

Founder of WorkingRite, Sandy Campbell, said: “WorkingRite and housing associations are a perfect fit. They help us to become deeply rooted in the communities that need us most.

“Glen Oaks Housing Association’s enthusiastic and practical support for our project over five years, particularly how they have welcomed our project coordinator Anne Wright into the heart of their community, has surpassed all our expectations. This relationship has played a pivotal role in the success we have achieved for their tenants’ young people.”

One of the recent success stories is Steven Monaghan (17) who has been a big success with well known roofing and building contractor Thomas McMaster & Son in Hillington.

The firm was so impressed with him that he was offered an apprenticeship in roofing in January of this year.

Steven said: “I’m very grateful to WorkingRite and Glen Oaks for helping me get my apprenticeship. Thomas McMaster & Sons are a great company to work for and I’m learning a lot with them about the construction industry.”

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