Meet the Wigan group helping young job seekers find employment

Amy Stark from Groundwork, based in Wigan, promotes the new scheme, Hidden Talent, to help people use their skills and get a job
Amy Stark from Groundwork, based in Wigan, promotes the new scheme, Hidden Talent, to help people use their skills and get a job

A ground-breaking programme to help those facing the biggest hurdles to break into employment has launched in Wigan.

The Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) has recently won a contract to help get the borough’s most needy youngsters into the world of work.

The scheme, named Hidden Talent will help to target people currently unemployed, not in education and not on benefits with the aim of providing training and opportunities to improve their future prospects.

Groundwork CLM, based on Hallgate, have now launched the programme on behalf of the charity, for people aged between 18 and 25.

Amy Stark, development officer for Groundwork CLM, said; “We are looking to help those who are the furthest away from the labour market.

“They are people who aren’t claiming benefits, they aren’t in education.

“They are hidden away doing nothing.

“We are going to be working with them to improve their confidence and skills so that they can get what they need for employment.

“These people are quite often at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

“It can be someone living at home with their parents who don’t need a job as their parents fund their lifestyle, or it could be someone who is suffering from mental health illness and are too intimidated to go to the job centre and ask for help.

“Quite often those people use food banks or family and friends help them out where they can.”

Groundwork CLM is hoping to work with around 20 people over the next 12 months of the project, which has already proved successful in other parts of Greater Manchester.

“I don’t think there’s anything like this in Wigan,” said Amy. “We have been running it around Greater Manchester and have seen a really good improvement for people involved.

“This is why it’s now being brought to the borough, to try and help more communities who need it.”

Most referrals are made by family or friends of people who are currently unemployed and not claiming benefits.

“Someone will contact us and we will arrange to meet that person either via home visit or somewhere public for a coffee,” she added.

“I’m excited to be working in the borough, we will make it as successful as we can.”