THE We Want to Work campaign championed by the Oxford Mail has received strong backing from the county’s business community.
Employers and business leaders from a wide range of trades have applauded the initiative which will follow the progress of 12 jobseekers from a variety of backgrounds as they attempt to find work.
Jonathan Flint, chief executive of hi-tech engineering firm Oxford Instruments based at Tubney Woods, near Abingdon, said: “As a growing, successful business we need to recruit and retain talented people with diverse skills, experience and backgrounds.
“Oxford Instruments wholeheartedly supports the Oxford Mail’s We Want to Work campaign.”
Paul Mabbutt, managing director of business park operator Jennings, said: “We back the campaign. A lot of small businesses are growing and more and more jobs are being made available. It is just a question of matching them with the right people.
“Our tenants are looking to recruit people from the local area which is very important.”
Bob Urwin, pictured right, managing director of Oxford-based lettings agency Martin & Co, said: “The We Want To Work campaign is just the kind of helping hand a local newspaper can give and Martin & Co fully supports the Oxford Mail’s efforts to get these 12 jobseekers back into employment”
A number of Oxfordshire’s major private sector employers have also backed the initiative including logistics firm Unipart , which employs more than 850 staff at its Cowley distribution centre, and Kraft Foods in Banbury which has 600 employees.
Frank Nigriello, director of corporate affairs at Unipart, said: “Unipart is fully supportive of the We Want to Work campaign.
“Over the years Unipart has been involved with many projects to break down barriers and help get people back into employment, from providing work placements for homeless people to help them return to the workplace to providing free workshops through Job Centre Plus to help those looking for more senior positions improve their chances of getting a job.”
Kraft Foods spokesman Samantha Wothers said: “We wish the Oxford Mail the very best of luck as it wishes to secure a better future for the youth of Oxford”.
Key employers are also recognising the value of the advice being offered from employment experts involved in the campaign and are offering their own tips to jobseekers.
Emma Mason, spokesman for energy supplier SSE based at Yarnton, said: “We are always on the lookout for talented people to help grow our business.
“As a business which receives thousands of applications every year from potential candidates, our advice is simple. Always keep it relevant and make sure your application makes a good impression. If you can tailor your application to the job you are applying for, that really helps.
“Stop and think about what the job you are applying for involves, how you can make your application relevant and always double check the information you are including.”
SOMEENA HUSSAIN, 33, FROM MARSTON
- Looking for work in: Office administrative/receptionist or customer service role.
- Skills and experience: More than four years telesales/fundraising experience providing outbound calls, inputting data, handling queries.
- Five years retail experience working for high street retailers and department stores.
- Also has experience of working in schools and nurseries as a teaching assistant.
- Qualifications: GNVQ Health and Social Care Advanced Level. Seven GCSEs including English and Urdu.
- Fluent in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.
TELESALES worker Someena Hussain estimates she has completed about 1,000 job applications since her last job ended a year ago.
The 33-year-old from Marston is keen to find a job as a receptionist, or in customer service or office administration.
Her last job was in telesales and finished in 2011 once the temporary contract she was on had ended.
She said: “An office role is just something I have wanted to do because I have been in telesales before and I have enjoyed being in an office environment.
“I am an outgoing person, I enjoy working with people and I am looking for a challenging position.
“I am computer literate and I have knowledge of health and safety.”
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and socialising with friends and family.
Ms Hussain said: “I like helping people and meeting people.
“I would be delighted if I was to be offered a job as it would help me become more independent.”
PHILLIP RIDGLEY, 48, FROM BARTON
- Looking for work in: Retail, care work or as a driver.
- Skills and experience: Warehouse, driving and retail experience.
- Qualifications: NVQ Retail and Customer Services, NVQ Level 1 Literacy and NVQ Level 3 Numeracy. First aid training. Full UK Drivers Licence up to 7.5 tonne. Forklift licence.
DRIVER Phillip Ridgley is determined to find a job after being out of work for 18 months.
The 48-year-old from Barton estimates he has completed about 500 job applications since he left his job as a driver in a warehouse.
He finished the role after the contract he was on ended.
Mr Ridgley said: “I am getting fed up with being unemployed, I just want a job.
“I am good with people and any job I do I can learn in half a day.
“If I’m shown the job then I can do it.
“I am friendly, I turn up on time and I get on with the job. I am good at working in a team or on my own.”