From the Job Centre to Corporate Citizens at the Citizens Advice Bureau

Four former Job Centre clients are showcasing their corporate citizenship skills in the workforce thanks to an alliance between Sarina Russo Job Access Chatham and at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Unemployed for 9 months or more, Daniel Mortley, Daniel Hilder, Matthew Peskett and Jack Lewis registered for the Community Task Force programme which assist unemployed 18-24 year olds become job ready through work placements.

Mr Mark Berlese, CEO, Sarina Russo Job Access said the alliance with the Citizens Advice Bureau is perfect as they rely on trained volunteers to deliver vital community services and we can provide enthusiastic and capable volunteers.

Dan McDonald, CEO, Citizens Advice Bureau said as a registered charity we help people resolve legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.

"We believe our alliance with Sarina Russo Job Access is a new way forward to train and recruit staff for our industry.

"Due to the excellent capacity of both jobseekers we placed them on a fast-track in-house training course which they both completed in four weeks instead of the allotted eight weeks," Mr McDonald said.

Daniel Mortley said Sarina Russo Job Access' training helped him improve his chances of working fulltime in the charity or local council sector.

"I've really enjoyed setting up CAB on Facebook and Twitter, educating local university student unions about CAB's services, goals and principles," Daniel Mortley said.

Daniel Hilder said he wanted more administration experience and the programme gave him the skills and confidence he needed to succeed.

"I had no experience in office procedures and routines.  Now I'm on the switchboard, doing reception, responsible for document collation and I'm helping "youth proof" leaflets and brainstorming ideas to raise awareness of CAB's services," Daniel Hilder said.

Mr Berlese said Jack Lewis came to Sarina Russo Job Access as a shy and more introverted individual but now has an air of confidence about everything he does.

Matthew Peskett is a highly educated conscientious individual and the programme allowed him to maximise his skills and talents

"All four young men were put through rigorous preparation for a Citizens Advice Bureau interview.

"Each of them bought something different to the table and all have completed their training and are now working as volunteers.

"The next step is to ensure they gain more qualifications to allow them to get sustainable jobs in the counselling, volunteer, local government or administration arenas.

"I have ultimate admiration for what all these young men have achieved.  They have maximised their strengths, overcome their weaknesses and embraced their opportunities and I'm sure we'll See them at the Top," Mr Berlese said.