MP visits firm’s successful work experience scheme

From left; Warren Services boss Richard Bridgeman with MP Liz Truss and two employees Daniel Lomas, 21, from Thetford, and Sarah Hegarty, 22, from Thetford who have gain employment through job centre plus.

From left; Warren Services boss Richard Bridgeman with MP Liz Truss and two employees Daniel Lomas, 21, from Thetford, and Sarah Hegarty, 22, from Thetford who have gain employment through job centre plus.

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A BUSINESS in Thetford is helping young people get experience of the work place through a new Government initiative.

Last week, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk Liz Truss visited Warren Services to see how the programme is getting on.

The manufacturing business has been working closely with the local Jobcentre for the past four months, giving 18-24 year olds a chance to experience working life while claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance.

And it seems the company’s chairman, Richard Bridgman, has struck gold – offering two of his work experience participants permanent jobs at the business, one within just two days.

He said: “After a time here they will have eight weeks of experience of work and if they have done well, a great reference for their CV.

“I am passionate about this – young people need to get themselves out there and make a difference.”

Daniel Lomas, 21, from Thetford, had been out of work for eight months after finishing college with good A-level results.

He said: “I was on work experience here for what I thought would be eight weeks but I was here for only two days and I was offered a full-time position.

“I was applying for anything and everything but employers kept saying that they needed someone with more experience.

“I think this programme should be compulsory for all young people who are looking for jobs.”

Sarah Hegarty, 22, from Thetford, who also earned a place in the company by impressing during her work experience, said: “When you are unemployed you get stuck in a rut, if more employers ran this scheme it would help a lot of people.”

Ms Truss said: “It is about helping young people to get the first step on the ladder.

“It gives them the experience of the workplace, and gives them a taster of what it is like in the working environment.

“Even if it is a job at the weekend or doing work voluntarily – employers want to see people with experience of a working environment.”