Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Peter Thompson, Regeneration Services Manager, Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Further to Press Notice II 1999-00 issued on 16 February 2000 please find enclosed some information on employment initiatives run in Kirklees. Both of the initiatives in question, Job Placement Link (JPL) and Joblink are funded in large degree by the Single Regeneration Budget programmes running in Huddersfield and Dewsbury respectively. Both provide good examples of projects that are developed and delivered locally which, while complementing other mainstream provision; provide real benefits to those who find it most difficult to enter the labour market.

  The Single Regeneration Budget is of course a time limited programme and geographically focused on deprived areas. Government assistance would be welcome in helping schemes such as those in Kirklees continue beyond the life of their SRB programmes and extend their benefits to disadvantaged individuals who do not just happen to live in the defined areas.

  The press release raised the issue of what can private employment agencies contribute to the recruitment of unemployed people? Although private agencies do provide a valuable service to many people, from our experience clients do not increasingly use such agencies. Clients tell us that they often do not provide a quality service appropriate to their needs and when they do it is a very short term contract. The clients using Joblink and JPL require long-term support, getting the job offer is not the end of the story.


  Working in partnership, JPL offers a variety of services to employers, developers and residents of the Huddersfield Pride SRB area. JPL aims to address disadvantages in the local labour market by providing assistance to unemployed residents and local businesses. We work in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors to overcome barriers preventing people from accessing opportunities.

  The Huddersfield Pride Area SRB area extends from Colnebridge to Milnsbridge and includes the Town Centre, Birkby, Fartown, Thornton Lodge, Lockwood, Crosland Moor and Walpole, Dalton, Rawthorpe and Moldgreen. In July 1999 the Area was extended to include Paddock, Brackenhall, Sheepridge, Deighton and some of Newsome.

  Job Placement Link has an established track record of assisting the long-term unemployed. This assistance has varied in its nature, reflecting the identified needs of individuals and groups, and has often been innovative and creative in assisting individuals to overcome barriers to employment and combating social exclusion.

  JPL has been responsible for a number of notable achievements over the lifetime of the project. It has made significant contributions to the overall success of Huddersfield Pride and has had a lasting beneficial effect on a good number of residents and employers within the existing area. JPL has assisted in the creation of over 400 new jobs, supported over 1,000 residents into work, advised over 500 companies and developed close links in the community through its establishment of outreach facilities and partnership working.

  A variety of independent and in house evaluations of the work of Job Placement Link have all identified that the key to successful service delivery has been Job Placement Link's practice of "Sustained intervention" with clients. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report "Back to Work, local Action on Unemployment" (Sanderson, Walton and Campbell, 1999) identified JPL as being a model of good practice in the field of work with the long-term unemployed.

  Current services which Job Placement Link offer includes:

Services to Work Seekers

    —  Access to JPL funding.

    —  An individual fund to help you to overcome personal barriers to employment.

    —  One to one ongoing support and advice.

    —  Pre-recruitment training with local employers CV service.

    —  Information on jobs and jobsearch skills.

    —  Short in-house training courses to improve your chances of finding work.

    —  Residential courses.

    —  Assistance with application forms, speculative letters to employers and improving your interview skills.

    —  Training and education opportunities.

    —  Various funding opportunities to improve your chances of finding employment.

    —  Work experience opportunities.

Services to Employers and Developers

  JPL strives to unlock the potential of a locally based workforce to the profitable advantage of the business community. We promote local labour principles to employers and developers based in or moving to Kirklees and can offer a range of support services including:

    —  Customised pre-placing and vacancy service.

    —  Vacancy applicant screening.

    —  Employment grants for new recruits from the Huddersfield Pride Area.

    —  Equipment grants.

    —  Information, advice and referral to partner organisations.

    —  Pre-recruitment training tailored to your needs.

  We have developed and delivered bespoke business packages for some of Kirklees' premier employers including Boots the Chemist, The University of Huddersfield and Asda. JPL also works with equal priority to service the needs of smaller and new companies providing a "Recruitment Kickstart" and subsequent employment premium for the employment of our registered service users from the Huddersfield SRB area. JPL is dedicated to facilitating local business prosperity by encouraging the employment of local people.

  JPL provides a free, personal recruitment and selection service for local SME's:

    —  Grant assistance.

    —  An employment premium of up to £2,300 may be payable subject to eligibility criteria.

    —  On going support and after care with the employer and employees.

  In addition to JPL's mainstream provision it also offers a number of specialised positive action services targeted at the local ethnic minority community. These services include Peer Health and the Huddersfield Graduate Initiative. JPL is justifiably proud that over 65 per cent of this year's target for clients entering work come from an ethnic minority background.


  The Ethnic Minority Peer Health Project is a European funded initiative, managed by Huddersfield Pride's JPL, which aims to offer ethnic minority residents in Huddersfield Pride areas the opportunity to gain work experience in caring professions. The Project has been running since June 1999 and has already benefited over 60 local people working in over 30 different services and departments within the NHS Trust, KMC Social Services and the voluntary sector to create and maintain placement opportunities.

  The Project is in its fourth stage of recruitment with a further recruitment phase planned for April 2000. The current phase of recruitment is for Schools Placements, within various primary and secondary schools in Kirklees, where it has recruited 20 placements in local schools. Trainees work alongside teachers as Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) Assistants, supporting groups of children. Trainees are working towards NVQ—Level 3 Training and Development Certificate, and are being encouraged to pursue a career path that will hopefully lead into teaching.


  The HGI assists graduates who from the black and minority ethnic community to overcome any personal barriers they may face in the labour market. The project was launched in October 1999 and there are over 60 graduates/final year undergraduates registered.

  The services on offer to clients resident in the Huddersfield Pride area include:

    —  free access to the internet for jobsearch activities;

    —  training on using creativity to market yourself;

    —  training for interview preparation;

    —  access to resources and materials;

    —  intensive one to one support in preparing CVs and applications;

    —  vacancy information.


  Joblink is the Local Labour Initiative for North Kirklees.

  Joblink specifically targets areas of high unemployment and deprivation throughout North Kirklees, areas such as Dewsbury SRB area, the old Batley City Challenge area and the estates of Fieldhead, Windybank, Brooklyn and Chickenley.


Unemployed Residents

One to one service (confidential interview).

  Information, advice and guidance on job related matters.


  Interview skills and introductory job related courses.

  Information on education and training opportunities.

  Individual counselling on matters relating to their circumstances.

  Targeted job search and company contacting.

Services to Employers

  Joblink offers a collaborative partnership approach with the Employment Service, Careers Service Partnership and the Programme Centre to offer employers a quality recruitment service aimed at all levels of companies, with Joblink targeting SME's.



A tailored and efficient recruitment and selection service accessing all the potentially available workforce.

  Information and advice of local and Government funded recruitment and training programmes.

  Database of local unemployed people who are available and are seeking employment.

  Local and national circulation of vacancy details.

  The use of interview facilities at the local job centres.

  Job fairs to promote your vacancies.

  Work placement and work trails to help you make the right choice of employee.

Training and Development of Staff

  Job related pre-recruitment training courses designed to meet the needs of the employer.

  Advice and guidance on education and training courses at local colleges and training suppliers.

  Advice and guidance on available training for the development of new and existing workforce.

Financial Support

  Information on financial support to businesses from the Local Council and other funding bodies.

  Premium Grants to employers who employ eligible residents of the Dewsbury SRB area.

  New Deal subsidies and training allowances for employers taking on eligible unemployed clients.


  Joblink's people centred approach, combined with its quality recruitment and selection service aims to break down the barriers faced by those people who are deemed disadvantaged in today's job market.

  Joblink's employer approach in designing job specifications without jargon and without prejudice or discrimination enables disadvantaged clients to access employment and this is combined with post employment monitoring, giving guidance and help to both company and new employee to progress in their chosen career using all available sources.

  Joblink, through its endeavours helps an average of 150 unemployed residents into employment each year and signposts a significant number of clients to education and training.

Kirklees Metropolitan Council

March 2000

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