Transition to Work Trust working for jobseekers

Exemplary employee . . . House of Hygiene cleaner Abby Atkinson (centre) secured work at Meridian mall with support from Transition to Work Trust employment and client broker Kendal Robertson and life coach and client manager Yvonne Bradford. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Young jobseekers in Dunedin are gaining the “confidence and support” necessary to find work in the city.

House of Hygiene cleaner Abby Atkinson (21) said she secured 15 hours of work cleaning at Otago Regional Council in February and secured 13 more hours cleaning at Meridian Mall food court last week.

She was employed by House of Hygiene as a result of enrolling with the Transition to Work Trust in the new year.

When asked what was the most important things the trust provided her with she replied, “confidence and support”.

Before working with the trust, she had door-knocked businesses and handed employers her CV and applied for work online “anywhere possible” but her plan of attack was in vain.

“It wasn’t working.”

On advice from Work and Income, she contacted the trust, landed a job interview with House of Hygiene and secured a job cleaning at the council.

Trust life coach and client manager Yvonne Bradford, of Dunedin, said the feedback from House of Hygiene about Miss Atkinson had been positive.

“They can’t say enough good things about Abby.”

The trust was launched in 2004 after securing a Ministry of Social Development contract to place its Work and Income clients, aged 18 to 24, into sustainable employment and offer a jobseekers support benefit.

“Any young person on a jobseeker can come to us for assistance.”

The contract allowed the trust to work with 100 young adults each year.

The charitable trust supported participants for 13 weeks, giving them the tools and contacts to find a job, such as writing a job application, writing a CV and cover letter, finding work opportunities and learning interview techniques and how to keep a job.

When a job was obtained, the trust provided 62 days of support to the worker in the job. Employers were approaching the trust for staff to hire, Ms Bradford said.

The industries employing the staff included construction, health, hospitality, the Government sector and retail.

Dunedin had plenty of employment opportunities for young people, she said.

The trust had connections to employers and vouched for the young adults, Ms Bradford said.

“It’s all about who you know and not what you know.”

Trust employment and client broker Kendal Robertson, of Dunedin, said finding work was often a struggle for many young people.

“Our young people need to be working – it’s a huge benefit to our city and themselves.”