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Jobcentre Plus and Eastleigh College work together for career success

SELCO, a national building materials supplier, has created 50 jobs in Portsmouth with the opening of a new branch in Northarbour Road, off the A27 in Portsmouth, which is due to open for trading in September.  

14 local unemployed people are starting a new career with SELCO thanks to a collaborative approach by SELCO, Jobcentre Plus and Eastleigh College. 

Three of the new employees are taking their first steps on an exciting and promising career path following a sector based work academy run by Eastleigh College in partnership with the Jobcentres in Portsmouth.  Eastleigh College’s specialist Engage Recruitment Team, offer free recruitment services to job seekers and employers.

The academy offered 11 students training in customer service skills as well as the chance to spend a week with SELCO gaining experience in their neighbouring Southampton store. They were guaranteed an interview with the company on completion of the academy programme. 

After the interviews three of the participants - Michael Hares, Stuart Green and Mark Stallard - were offered jobs at the branch in preparation for the opening on 22 September. Michael had struggled to find work for some years until SELCO gave him the chance to show them what he could do during his placement.  

Branch manager, Rob Thorpe, says working with Eastleigh College and Jobcentre Plus was beneficial when recruiting for customer-facing roles. He says: “Recruiting participants from the course and from Jobcentre Plus is a fantastic achievement. It’s testament to Eastleigh College and Jobcentre Plus that they are helping people find work in the area. 

“Working with the College in this way enabled us to get to know each of the participants prior to employment and benefit from their input throughout their course.  We are very proud to be bringing jobs to the building and construction industry in Portsmouth and being part of this initiative. We are impressed with the way each of the new starters has settled into their jobs at SELCO Portsmouth.”  

Emma Yorwerth, Head of Business Development and ESF at Eastleigh College, said “Companies are key to unlocking the potential that is present in every student – the students need access to industry experiences in order to prepare them for the opportunities, experiences and challenges that the future world of work has to offer.  

Working closely with employers such as SELCO helps shape the workforce of the future. Building these relationships can address and enhance training, enabling students to develop the key personal and work skills essential to a thriving and successful business.” 

Leone Hill, Business Development Manager at Jobcentre Plus said, “SELCO gave opportunities to a number of our customers who were finding it difficult to get back to work and just wanted an employer to give them a chance. I’m delighted that so many of our jobseekers were given this chance and are now working again.” 

SELCO Portsmouth will supply everything needed to build a house or carry out refurb jobs, including doors, windows, insulation, roofing, heating, plumbing supplies, lighting, electrical products, kitchens, bathrooms and timber.