A PROJECT which aims to provide free help to local unemployed people is being offered by Kendal College.

It is running the JobWorks scheme to increase the employability and skills of people – with stunning results.

The project has been named as one of the top three ways of getting short-term unemployed people back into work in the north west.

JobWorks is aimed at anyone aged over 18 who has been out of work for six months, is at risk of redundancy or newly redundant.

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

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

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

The programme is headed by Mark Wadsworth, who is the college’s JobWorks Co-ordinator.

He said: “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 through 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 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.

It also runs a WorkClub every Tuesday between from noon to 5pm at The Lodge on Station Road, Kendal – at the front of Kendal Museum.

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.