Work Match, the service set up five years ago to help get local people into employment while also supporting local businesses, is celebrating finding its 1000th person a job.
The news comes on the day that Work Match marks its fifth birthday and the successful recruitment service is now looking forward to linking up hundreds more residents to businesses across the borough in the coming years.
Josiah Knight was the 1000th person to get a job through Work Match and attended a special birthday party at the team’s new offices at the Vista development in Nine Elms.
The 17-year-old secured a position as a labourer with Keltbray via Work Match. He now works at Battersea Power Station, and Keltbray has selected him to start a formwork carpentry apprenticeship next month.
He said: “I really wanted to get involved in construction and someone told me about Work Match so I got in contact with them. Will from the team helped me with my CV and referred me for jobs. It is great to be working on such an iconic project. I’ve wanted to work in the construction industry from a young age and am very happy to have the opportunity to get this apprenticeship with Keltbray at my age. It’s nice to feel like I am contributing to the progression of my community with the project I am on. Thank you to everyone who helped me get this opportunity.”
When Work Match was launched in 2013 the aspiration was to help unemployed Wandsworth residents secure new jobs, apprenticeships and training roles, working with business across the borough.
Unlike most recruitment teams Work Match is not driven by commission targets and only puts forward candidates who are genuinely ready, willing and able to meet workplace demands.
The Work Match team supports candidates through the application process - including help with CVs and interview skills - to give them the best chance of success. They also help local people find any pre-job training and support they need to get ready for the workplace.
The service works closely with Job Centre Plus, community organisations, local colleges and schools to provide an integrated support network.
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, said: “To have put 1,000 Wandsworth people into employment is an incredible achievement and I am very proud of what the team at Work Match has done for our residents. The local jobs market is growing and the Work Match team is making sure our job seekers have a real advantage when it comes to securing new roles.”
Since 2013 Work Match has worked with a range of businesses including Cineworld, Battersea Power Station, St James Group, Ballymore, Sainsbury's, Homebase and a whole host of independent shops. Roles filled have been diverse as security, construction, catering, hospitality and leisure.
Luke Price, Team Manger from Waitrose, said “Work Match had been hugely beneficial in securing the company quality staff.
He said: “I would recommend Work Match to others because the team working with the candidates are really engaged. They have been fantastic with us, screening the right people and coaching them to what we look for in someone, so that when they send us candidates we are not sifting out people and we have the right people there ready. It’s working very well.”
Cabinet member for Economic Development, Skills and Employment, Cllr Rory O’Broin, said: “Work Match has proven to be a huge asset to Wandsworth’s business environment. It’s free of charge to both candidates and employers, and we have found that businesses across the borough really trust the service to provide them with excellent candidates. Wandsworth has many ongoing major projects, especially in Nine Elms, and the Work Match team provides a direct link between these new opportunities and our residents who need them most. Helping 1,000 local people find work is an incredible achievement and I want to personally thank everyone involved in Work Match for reaching this milestone and making such a difference to people’s lives."