Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Job fair

May 21 2009
Response to pilot project shows huge demand for help with finding work The UK's first ever jobs fair for homeless clients took place in May at the Salvation Army's Rochester Row, alongside JobCentre Plus. Around 200 people registered at the event and 44 found jobs that day, which ranged from working in agriculture to working with royalty. Farm work, with accommodation, was one of the jobs on offer, as was the role of supervisor for the Princess Diana Memorial later this year. The organisers were unsure of the response they would get, but everyone was satisfied that it was a great triumph. "This was just a pilot but obviously, from the response, this is something which is desperately needed," said Major Paul Kingscott of the Salvation Army. "It was very successful," added outreach advisor Margo Baxter. "We didn't know how it would turn out, but there was so much interest we are thinking of doing a bigger one in October - although nothing is concrete yet." Baxter regularly works at the Salvation Army, and at St Martin's, where she provides advice on writing CVs, interview techniques, and how to make that all-important first phone call. Currently she is recruiting people for a 12-week training courses in carpentry, or painting and decorating. The CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) is a legal requirement for work in the trade, and is being provided for free - including travel expenses - to people without permanent residence. Baxter works for Job Centre Plus, with the support of the Salvation Army, and is confident that they can help anyone. "As many people as call me, I can help," she said. A translator was at the fair to help non-English speakers, and David Hurren, from Employ EU, helped job seekers from the new Accession 8 countries. He said there had been some notable successes during the day: "A chef with French/Italian cuisine experience is almost certain to find work, and there were several people for whom we know we can find suitable employment in the construction industry." If you are interested in the CSCS, or any other job queries, call Margo Baxter on 07801 818 990.