2: Wakefield District Housing (WDH)
Wakefield District Housing runs a number of in-house programmes, including work placements, weekly drop-in centres, work clubs and digital training. But it has also worked to develop close links to local organisations. It uses these to stay informed of local vacancies and to actively create work experience and employment opportunities for its residents.
As part of a workless provider’s network set up by the council, it meets with other organisations on a regular basis to feed into Wakefield’s jobs and growth plan. This network includes Jobcentre Plus, Work Programme providers, Wakefield College, the National Careers Service, local employers and the LEP. Part of the group’s role is negotiating with businesses moving into the area to take on a certain number of local unemployed people. Being part of this network means WDH is aware of new opportunities coming up and can work with tenants to apply for them. The housing association also encourages organisations in its supply chain to give career talks in schools, making young people aware of some of the job opportunities available to them and what skills and qualifications they will need to enter these jobs.
Alongside these services for tenants, WDH also offers community employment support through Wakefield District Housing Academy. This service is possible due to its close relationship to Jobcentre Plus and involves providing ten work placements every six months. The Jobcentre and WDH’s Community Employment Advisors refer 30 individuals who would be suitable for a work placement and WDH selects ten. Typically these are given to people who have skills and qualifications but have difficulty finding a job due to a lack of work experience. The programme is about to recruit its sixth cohort and has had an 80 per cent success rate in moving participants into further employment, either within WDH or with other employers.29