KAL job scheme is mentioned in Parliament
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KAL job scheme is mentioned in Parliament

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Kirklees Active Leisure's Future Jobs Fund scheme was referred to by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

The Future Jobs Fund was set up in 2009 and locally is administered through Kirklees Council.

KAL, a charitable trust which runs sports centres and swimming pools across Kirklees on behalf of the council, has supported the scheme from the start and employed more than 80 young people since its inception.

KAL's success with the scheme has been quoted within a report as a positive example of the scheme for the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

Gail Chambers, KAL's Project Manager, said: "The participants have made a real difference within our eleven sites and at head office. About 75 per cent have then gone on to find employment, some of them within KAL, which is fantastic.

"The FJF scheme at KAL has been both challenging and rewarding, but has been a great success.

"For KAL's part in the scheme to be recognised in Parliament is something we can all be very proud of."

The Future Jobs Fund was created in 2009 to support long-term unemployed young people and working age people from unemployment hotspots back into work.

Social enterprises and charitable trusts were particularly encouraged to participate in the programme and create additional jobs. The FJF employees are employed for 26 weeks, work a minimum of 25 hours per week and are paid at least the minimum wage.

KAL's Chief Executive Alasdair Brown added: "Kirklees Active Leisure is a significant local employer and provides a range of opportunities that are appealing to young people.

"The Future Jobs Fund, which was coordinated in the Kirklees area by the local authority, provided the opportunity for KAL to employ more than 80 young people in a wide variety of roles across the organisation.

"The transformation in many of these young people was incredible to see, moving from initially being individuals with low self confidence and a lack of belief in their own abilities, to valued staff members, actively contributing to KAL and providing a high quality service to KAL's customers.

"It's great to see that this was recognised by the Work and Pensions Select Committee. "It's unfortunate that this initiative wasn't continued, but hopefully, through new Government initiatives such as the Work Programme, there will be the opportunity over the coming months for young unemployed people to again be given the opportunity to show KAL and other local employers that they can be a very valuable asset and make a positive impact.

"KAL is certainly actively exploring the potential for recruiting apprenticeships and we're optimistic that this can build on the success of the FJF."

Daniel Lock, 23, joined the marketing team from the FJF with KAL in May 2010.

He said: "I was offered the opportunity with KAL on the Future Jobs Fund because I was unemployed for nine months after graduating from university in July 2009.

"The economic crisis was at its worst at the time, so jobs were hard to come by.

"The placement equipped me with the skills I needed to be noticed in the tough jobs market we have today. I am now finding it a lot easier to get interviews and it feels inevitable I will land a full time job soon.

"I have really enjoyed my time with KAL and still work for the marketing team on a voluntary basis and on reception at sites on a casual paid basis until I land a job in marketing."

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Kirklees Active Leisure's Future Jobs Fund scheme was referred to by a Parliamentary Select Committee.
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