A UNIQUE project providing free services to local unemployed people is being offered by Kendal College.

It is running a programme called JobWorks to increase the employability and skills of people – with some stunning results.

It has just been named as one of the top three providers of getting short-term unemployed people back into work in the North West.

JobWorks is aimed at anyone from 18 years upwards who has been unemployed for six months, at risk of redundancy or newly redundant.

The catchment area for eligibility goes as far Penrith in the north to Lancaster in the south and as far apart as Grasmere and Barrow.

In particular, it focuses on refreshing CVs as well as directing people towards immediate short courses or qualifications that can quickly improve their immediate job chances.

Taking many referrals from Kendal Job Centre, it helped 174 people in the last year and 50 per cent have ended up back in work.

The programme is headed by Mark Wadsworth, who is based at the college as the JobWorks Coordinator.

Mr Wadsworth explained: “It is not about trying to turn someone into a student. We are trying to improve their CVs and employability. We see about 15 to 20 new faces every week though referrals and 10 to 15 go on to do something with us while 70 to 80 per cent come and get help and support.”

Typical courses include basic IT, English and Maths Entry 1 to Level 2, Employability Skills courses for the longer-term unemployed, as well as first aid, food hygiene, and health safety.

People can choose to do entry level one courses – the first step on the educational ladder – all the way through to foundation degrees to help boost their CVs.

Mr Wadsworth explained that many people hinder their jobs chances by stating ‘what they have done’ on CVs - not what they’ve got.”

He also said the programme was particularly helpful to those out-of-work after many years with the same company or those who had not developed their qualifications since school or those who had lots of experience but no up-to-date exams.

The programme also runs a WorkClub every Tuesday between 12-5pm at The Lodge on Station Road, Kendal – situated at the front of Kendal Museum opposite Kendal Railway Station.

For more information, email mark.wadsworth@kendal.ac.uk go to www.kendal.ac.uk/jobworks or www.facebook.com/jobworks or call 07738 944387.