Creating Opportunities for a Brighter Future!


Give us a Chance

On Monday 26th January, Kate Shone Head of Service attended meetings with Lord Mike German (Liberal Democrats), The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP (Shadow Minister Work and Pensions) and The Rt Hon Esther McVey (Minister of State Department of Work and Pensions). Kate is Chair of the Give Us A Chance (GUAC), the leading employment and skills consortium in the social housing sector.

The purpose of the meetings was to learn more about each parties intentions post General Election 2015 and also to promote the work that is being done by housing providers to help their residents and tenants move into work as well as the GUAC ERSA (Employment Related Services Association) Manifesto ( Lord Mike German was keen to understand whether housing providers would be able to shoulder the risk of large scale payment by result contracts such as the Work Programme.

Stephen Timms appraised member of Labours proposed Jobs Guarantee Scheme which builds on the back of the success of the Future Jobs Fund. He noted that despite a decrease in the overall national levels of unemployment, groups such as young people and the long term unemployed were still seeing increases in the level of unemployment. In particular he highlighted that in December 2014, youth unemployment had risen by 30,000. Stephen encouraged GUAC members to look at how they were aligning themselves with regional structures as a full range of partners would be needed around the table to drive down unemployment. Stephen also talked about Jobcentre Plus and how there needs to be a change to ensure that jobseekers view the service as one which can help, not just one who deals with sanctions.

Esther McVey re affirmed her support for the GUAC ERSA Manifesto and was keen to know more about the detailed work that GUAC members are undertaking which is having real results in moving residents and tenants into work.

For more information please contact Kate.



Learning with Forum

Forum Housing Association has been working in partnership with West Cheshire College to deliver a range of learning programmes for many years. The Academy Programme has proved to be very popular with our residents who are over the age of 19. It offered an opportunity for people to develop their skills in order to enter work coupled with a BTEC Workskills qualification. During the 2013/14 academic year, 55 residents achieved a nationally recognised qualification. The Association would like to offer a big ‘well done’ to all those who took part. Below is some feedback from one of our learners.

“When I moved into Forum Housing I was excited to get involved in the sessions and activities that were available to me. I got involved in many things which also included being part of the Shareholders. I also did a course with Danny and Joanne at the Learning team to achieve a B-TEC Level 1 in Workskills. I really enjoyed this as it was a good opportunity for me to communicate with the other residents and build some confidence in work skills; also it was good for me to fulfil my days with something positive so I could keep focused on the goals I had set myself to move on positively.

I had been working really hard on the course and found myself going round the project I was living in at the time getting everyone together so they were on time for the course. I thought it was important that we all work as a team to help each other finish the course to achieve our qualification.

Completing the course gave me the skills and confidence that I needed to apply for a job that was going at Forum Housing. I was excited about this as before the Work Skills course I wasn’t confident enough to go ahead with things. Danny and Joanne encouraged me to apply as they had seen me develop through the course and gain more skills. I was thankful for the course and opportunity it had led to.

Now I have been working with Forum Housing for 3 months and love my job. I am a Peer Community Connector which involves getting our residents connected with the community, I love the fact that in my role I get to help young people that are in the same situation I once found myself in and it gives me great satisfaction to help the young people have a better quality of life. I would never have been able to achieve this without the help of the learning team, they gave me the confidence to go forward with the application and the skills I had learnt doing my BTEC level 1.”


Pop Up Talent Wirral

On the 9th and 10th of April, the Wirral Met Learning Shop, The Pyramids, Birkenhead was filled with lots of different employers and providers.  Over 140, 16-24 year olds who were seeking work attended and spoke to employers directly, to find out about their field and how they can move into work.

Over the 2 days, there were opportunities for young people to ‘have a go’ at lots of different employment types which included plastering, wood graining, sewing and also driving a remote control miniature fork lift truck – to name but a few.

This was the very first Pop Up Talent Wirral event which was developed and organised by Forum Housing, Wirral Borough Council, Jobcentre Plus, Wirral Met, National Careers Service and Connexions.

Kate Shone, Event Organiser said “It was great to see so many young people, employers and providers engaging in positive discussions.  We have received some excellent feedback from young people and employers, our job now is to follow up with everyone to see how they have progressed.”

Councillors Phil Davies, Jean Stapleton and Brian Kenny popped in to support the event as well.  Councillor Davies commented “The Pop-up Talent event was an excellent opportunity for young people to meet a range of employers and discuss possible employment opportunities.  The fact that it took place in the Wirral Met College shop in The Pyramids meant that it was extremely accessible and welcoming to young people.  I would like to congratulate Forum Housing, Wirral Met College and the other agencies who took part in what I hope will be the first of many such events.”


Pop Up Talent Event

Pop Up Talent Wirral, a new way to help 16-24 year olds into work takes place on the 9th and 10th April 2014. Pop Up Talent Wirral is a new way to help young people age 16-24 into work.

On the 9th and 10th of April, the Wirral Met Learning Shop, The Pyramids, Birkenhead will be filled with lots of different employers. 16-24 year olds who are seeking work will be able to speak to employers direct to find out about their field and how they can move into work.

Over the 2 days, there will be an opportunity for young people to ‘have a go’ at lots of different employment types whether it is beauty therapy, engineering, plastering, song writing or manufacturing, the list goes on and on….Forum Housing, Wirral Borough Council, Jobcentre Plus, Wirral Met, National Careers Service and Connexions have come together to create Pop Up Talent Wirral.

Kate Shone, event organiser said “together we are creating a different way in which young people can connect with employers and employment opportunities. People who attend will be able to speak directly to employers to listen to what’s needed to enter their field. It is also a great opportunity for employers to scout for talented individuals who may have what they want in an employee.”

We will have the very latest information available on Apprenticeships and Traineeships and help on hand to make an application.

In addition to employers, there will be expert advice on hand from Wirral Met College, Jobcentre Plus, Connexions and the National Careers Service who will provide support to individuals to progress their career.

Everyone has a talent – Pop Up Talent Wirral creates the opportunity for young people to recognise theirs and to connect with employers who are looking for talented young people.

For the latest information, please follow us on Facebook Pop Up Talent Wirral. If you are an employer and would be interested in participating in the event contact Kate Shone on 0151 649 9718 ext. 295.


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