Carl Briggs, Rebecca Atkinson and John Khalid Tilbury.

Thompson’s helps jobless youngsters build a better future

Published:  25 May, 2011

SUNDERLAND: Unemployed youngsters in the region will gain valuable work experience after the North East’s leading independent builders’ merchant became one of the first organisations to sign up to a new scheme.



Thompson Building Centres has joined forces with Jobcentre Plus to help young people with little or no previous work experience gain the skills they need to enter employment – and has already offered places to eight new recruits.


The young people, all aged between 16 and 25, will learn about sales and purchase ledgers and work as cleaners, yard and waste operatives and retail assistants during their eight week work placement with the company.


When it comes to an end, Thompson’s will take on a new team of youngsters as part of a rolling programme of placements.


The latest figures show that 131 000 people across the North East are currently unemployed, with 26 565 people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment benefits.


The work experience scheme forms part of a national Get Britain Working campaign aimed at tackling unemployment by calling on private and public sector employers to help jobless young people.


Gemma Ganley, human resources manager for Thompson Building Centres, said: “We didn’t think twice about getting involved with this scheme.


“It’s harder than ever for young people to get into the workplace. They can’t get jobs unless they have experience but experience comes with work, so it’s a Catch 22 situation.


“It’s vital, not just for them but for the wider regional economy, that companies which are in a position to help them do so.”


Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment, said: “It is great news that Thompson Building Centres are offering work experience to young people in the North East.


“The work experience scheme will give young people the chance to get valuable experience in a business for up to two months, which makes a real difference to their confidence, their employability and their prospects.


“This Government is making the changes that will give young people access to jobs and opportunities that can help them towards a brighter future.”

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