Jurys service leads to jobs for three good men
THREE young men have landed work at a top hotel after taking part in an intensive training course designed to match job-hunters with employers.
Sam Ho, Craig Jones and Benjamin O'Riley were taken on as guest service staff (GSS) at Jurys Inn, in Exeter Street, after completing the Work Based Academy scheme.
The trio were among 10 unemployed people to pass the week-long training course, held at the National Marine Aquarium, and receive qualifications to work in the hospitality sector.
They received their pack of certificates – which included food hygiene, customer service, health and safety and equal opportunities qualifications – from Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans, at a ceremony at the Council House.
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Also honoured was fellow scheme success story Teresa Young.
The Work Based Academy was the 14th run in the city, covering different sectors, but the first arranged in partnership between Jobcentre Plus, which masterminds the scheme, and the council's Plymouth Adult and Community Learning Service (PACLS).
The course involved a three-week work placement, and a guaranteed interview, following the intensive classroom study.
That led to the trio landing their jobs at Jurys Inn, while another course graduate, Wayne Mason, secured a position at another Plymouth hotel.
Mr Ho, aged 32, from Plympton, a musician who had been unemployed for nine months after his record company folded, even won Jurys Inn's employee of the month award after just a few weeks in his new job.
The dad-of-four said: "I'm really enjoying the job. I get to meet different people and it's helped build my confidence."
Mr O'Riley, aged 21, from Prince Rock, was jobless for two months after the sports teaching scheme he worked for in Devonport ended.
"I can't stand not working," he said. "And now I can provide for my nine-month-old son."
Mr Jones, aged 26, from Estover, had been unemployed since he left Royal Mail just after Christmas.
"I had no experience in hospitality," he said. "This scheme gave us the chance to prove we could do it."
The trio are employed in various work with the public at the hotel, including waiting, bar work and customer service.
Helen Dymoke-Marr, Jurys Inn's HR manager, said she was delighted with all three recruits.
She said the scheme gave potential employees the chance to decide if hospitality was the career for them.
"And it's about supporting local people into employment," she said.
Tracy Hewett, the council's principle adult education officer, said: "The hospitality sector has lots of vacancies and can't fill them because people don't have the right skills."
She said the council had since partnered on a similar scheme in Tavistock.
Jacki Williams, partnership manager at Jobcentre Plus, said 156 people have taken part in the 14 Work Based Academy schemes and 67 have found work as a result.
She said the academies have covered sectors such as care, manufacturing, sales and construction because it is "where the employers need people".
Cllr Evans said he was impressed to hear about the scheme's success and added: "If you give people the chance to get work experience they can turn it into work."
PACLService is funded by the Skills Funding Agency, and responsible for providing a large portion of the adult learning opportunities in the city detailed in the Plymouth On Course prospectus.