Housing associations team up to help people find a job

ng homes rugbyA course that uses the game of Rugby to teach participants crucial life lessons and core values is helping unemployed people find work in two of Scotland’s largest cities.

Over 20 unemployed men and women are currently halfway through an 8-week employability programme which uses the values of rugby to develop participants’ personal skills and improve their job prospects as well as their fitness.

Professional rugby coaches and players provide rugby and fitness coaching and other staff provides dedicated one to one personal and employability support.

The course teaches life skills such as self-discipline, motivation, teamwork, leadership and employment specific skills such as interview techniques and CV writing. At the end participants will have the opportunity to sit down with prospective local employers at a careers event.

The course is being run by north Glasgow based ng homes, in partnership with School of Hard Knocks, a social inclusion charity featured annually on Sky Sports, which delivers contact sports-based interventions to ‘hard-to-reach’ members of society to tackle issues associated with unemployment, crime and poor mental/physical health.

The local community partners are Link Group Ltd and Port of Leith Housing Association and the Winning Scotland Foundation, an independent charity that is working to create a culture where all young people in Scotland have the opportunity to develop themselves and learn important life skills by using sport as a learning tool. Also supporting the programme are the Department of Work and Pensions who are offering employability support to the participants.

In north Glasgow, ng homes were the first housing association in the UK to partner with School of Hard Knocks and CEO Robert Tamburrini said: “We have been working with School of Hard Knocks for 3 years now and we have seen at first hand a number of success stories with participants finding work or going onto further education. I’m really pleased that people in Edinburgh will now have the same opportunity.”

The effect the course is having on participants can be summed up by David, a Muirhouse resident who said: “The course is brilliant – it’s a release from the usual for me. Instead of sitting around the house, I am here meeting a different group of people, as well as learning new skills. It’s something new, and I am enjoying the coaching, and the staff are really friendly and helpful.”

The course is held each Monday and Tuesday from 9.45am to 3.00pm with two hours of rugby training and two hours of life skills and employability work.

Chairperson of ng homes John Fury said: “The saying a healthy body, a healthy mind certainly applies to this course and I’m sure the participants will all feel the benefits of having taken part and go on to make positive changes to their lives.”

Craig Sanderson, CEO of Link Group added: “The School of Hard Knocks is one of a number of employability initiatives that Link is currently supporting. By playing rugby, tenants have the opportunity to get fit whilst at the same time learning new skills that will improve their prospects of getting a job in future”.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of PoLHA, said: “The School of Hard Knocks is a fantastic initiative which should be commended. For many young people, it can be the vehicle needed to help turn their lives around and help get them into employment. At PoLHA, we’re passionate about helping those with their career prospects and since the programme launched last month, I’m pleased to see it has been proving popular with our tenants.”

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