South London employers urged to help young people find work
Lewisham Deptford MP Vicky Foxcroft visited young Londoners to see how a skills and work programme is helping to boost their confidence and employability.
The 10-week programme, run by national employment and skills specialist Seetec in Lewisham, supports 16 to 24-year-olds in an area of high youth unemployment to gain qualifications and workplace skills and includes 100-hours’ work experience.
Shannon Lindley-Reseigh, 19, from Eltham, is one of ten students in the current group. She had switched between customer service, retail, hospitality and admin roles since leaving school at 16, before health issues left her seeking employment.
Shannon was persuaded to join the programme after meeting Seetec’s course tutor and says: “It was the best decision I’ve made this year. For the first time in a long while I feel I’m working towards a career, I know I’m comfortable in an office environment and I would eventually like to work my way up to office manager or work as an HR/Revenue administrator.”
Shannon has gained qualifications including Level 2 (GCSE-equivalent) English and Level 1 in personal wellbeing, progression and British values. She is completing her work placement in an Adult Training Centre where she has provided admin support and assisted students with their learning.
Shannon said: “The best thing about the course is the network of support provided by Seetec and my work placement. I’ve definitely increased my confidence, and my enthusiasm, and learned to be persistent and well organised. I’ve also learned the importance of punctuality and attendance in being respected at work.”
Shannon’s work experience manager Debbie Kiely said: “Shannon has been extremely polite and friendly to both learners and staff which has enabled her to develop great working relationships. She has grown in confidence and has shown initiative. Shannon is a very hard worker and will be a credit to any team she joins.”
Ewa Rusinek, 24, from Greenwich, has used the 10-week programme to retrain from a chef to an administrator by gaining qualifications in English and Customer Service. Ewa said: “The course has been good for me. The atmosphere at Seetec has been really positive, the work experience has given me so much confidence, I now feel ready to find my new career.”
Samantha Duce, Regional Skills Coordinator for Seetec, said: “We provide specialist support to a wide range of learners, the majority have low qualifications and lack confidence and experience, so they struggle to get into college or their first career opportunity.
“We help them gain qualifications but we need more employers in south London to guide and support them through work experience, to help them find sustainable employment in their community. Work experience helps to unlock their potential, and businesses are often keen to employ them afterwards or support them into apprenticeships.”
Sam urged more local employers to tap into to Seetec’s services, to meet their skills needs and work together to provide real opportunities for local young people.
MP Vicky Foxcroft said: "It was great to see first-hand how Seetec are helping young people with low qualifications, little or no experience and a lack of confidence to boost their employability. The young people of Lewisham have a huge amount to offer the workplace.
“I encourage all local employers to consider working with Seetec to offer work experience and support local young people in gaining valuable skills."
Seetec has over 30 years’ experience in helping people across the UK to fulfil their potential and will be running new programmes in Lewisham over the coming months. Young Londoners who are not in work, training or education who would like to participate should call 0207 407 4705 or email London.firstname.lastname@example.org Businesses who can provide work experience or apprenticeship opportunities should email email@example.com or call 0800 38 91 999.