Cheshire Jets and Job Centre Plus celebrate success of an employment programme for the long-term unemployed
4th April 2011
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Cheshire Jets and Job Centre Plus Celebrate Success of an employment and confidence programme for the long-term unemployed

Organisers of an employment and confidence programme for the long-term unemployed have been celebrating their scheme’s success.

Graduates of the Power Forward initiative, created by the Cheshire Jets basketball club in conjunction with Job Centre Plus, attended a presentation evening at the Northgate Arena recently where they received certificates. Eight of the 16 people on the course have secured full-time employment following their involvement on the ten-week programme delivered by the Jets’ head coach Paul Smith.

Carole Walton Cheshire, Job Centre Plus’ Halton & Warrington Partnership Coordinator said: “We have been very impressed with the planning, organising and delivery of the Power Forward programme. Paul Smith's coaching and corporate background has been an asset to the facilitation; the participants fed off his enthusiasm and practical approach throughout the whole programme. 

“Paul has enabled the group to become a unique team that has gone on to achieve success and identify their own potential and transferable skills to The Best of Chester Employer Forum.  Whatever was initially agreed was delivered promptly by the Jets team, no additional intervention from JCP was required.”

The aim of the programme was ultimately to help the 16 people, who had been out of work for six months or more, back into employment. Sessions focussed on developing participants’ confidence and skills such as communication, interview technique and the ability to work as part of a team.

Each week of the programme a different local business gave a small presentation about their organisation and the different skills they look for in potential employees.

Participants also selected a two week work placement from a range of businesses across Chester, assisted by thebestofchester which helped source the placements through members.
Paul said: “I was very impressed with the Power Forward programme.  Participants were clearly motivated; it was evident that it supported them to develop their confidence and self-esteem.  Several participants engaged in work placements with members of thebestofchester to help them rediscover the day-to-day demands of work; feedback from our members was overwhelmingly positive. “

For more information about the course contact the Cheshire Jets’ head office on 01244 302010, or  email

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