Grenfell Housing & Training has partnered with local businesses to offer work experience placements to support local youths and help tackle unemployment.

In the last 12 months, Grenfell has helped more than 250 people gain over 400 qualifications, with many of these individuals progressing into further learning, work placements and volunteering.

Drapes and rigging supplier Blackout was one of the companies involved in the association’s work. A wide range of employers also offered work experience opportunities, including theatre lighting company White Light, retailers including Ocado and Londis, care companies and education providers.

This particular scheme worked specifically with those furthest from the labour market, including those with housing issues, health problems and learning difficulties. These individuals were placed with local companies and Grenfell used the funding to cover the first few months of employment. A mentor, provided by Grenfell, supported the young people and each person was assigned to an individual within the company, who acted internally to support them. Grenfell assisted 12 young people into placements, all of whom were then offered employment by the employers who took part.

“This programme is invaluable to local youngsters, and we’re proud to be partnering with local businesses to help boost youth employment within London,” said Steve Boucher, director of operations at Grenfell. “We can’t thank the local businesses we work with enough, for opening their doors to local youngsters to offer the support and guidance necessary to make a successful transition into full time work.”

Adelaide Johannsen, Blackout’s HR manager, commented: “This partnership has enabled local youngsters to get hands-on experience working within live events in a bid to move them into employment or further training, and enable them to progress up the career ladder. We have taken on two individuals from Grenfell’s scheme and we were really impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment to their work.”

Grenfell relies on voluntary support and income to build individually tailored programmes for each of its services users, and over the last 12 months the association has helped 47 people into full-time employment.