Case study

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH): Work Programme real life story

A Stafford housing association is making a difference to its local community and taken on 10 young people through the Work programme.

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Stafford and Rural Homes trainees

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has taken on 10 trainees with the help of Youth Contract wage incentives – a scheme that enables employers to take advantage of cash incentives worth up to £2,275 each when they take on an 18 to 24 year-old through the Work Programme.

SARH is creating jobs for young, unemployed people through its new maintenance trading company “Homes First”, which installs kitchens and bathrooms and internal and external doors.

Karen Armitage, chief executive of SARH, said:

This programme is all about giving young people the opportunity to get a foot on the employment ladder while gaining valuable experience in different areas of the business – we are passionate about making a difference to people’s lives. The most significant objective of Homes First is to provide sustainable employment and training opportunities for the local community.

The trainees were taken on through the Shaw Trust – the UK’s largest third sector provider of employment services for disabled and disadvantaged people. Shaw Trust delivers the Work Programme on behalf of Serco for DWP.

Kevin Rust, Employer Accounts Manager for Shaw Trust said:

The trainees have been up against a lot of competition when it comes to finding work, so we are really pleased to finally get them on the jobs ladder. It is not just a job; hopefully it is going to be a career for some of them. After six months they will be in a fantastic position with the right support and experience to move forward, whether that is with SARH or elsewhere.

This new initiative will see SARH invest in skills development and employment opportunities for young and unemployed people as well as generating economic activity and growth. All surpluses will be reinvested to fund new initiatives, including building homes in the future.

Trainee, Dominic was enthusiastic about his experience with the Shaw Trust saying:

The customer service at Shaw Trust was excellent and I would recommend to anyone. With the help of Shaw Trust everything went swimmingly and hopefully the future holds a long term job/career with SARH.

The Work Programme is part funded by the European Social Fund.

Published 15 April 2013