Paid work experience at the London 2012 Games and the chance to mingle with athletes is a golden opportunity for Renaisi Works client, Gulsah Akbas. The 25-year-old had been out of work for two years before securing a role as catering assistant at the athletes’ village.
Gulsah was recently referred to Renaisi by Job Centre Plus and is delighted with the support she received prior to being offered the position. “I was helped every step of the way – from writing my CV and filling in the job application, to actually finding the vacancy, and I am very grateful,” she said.
A victim of the common catch-22 scenario, that without experience, employers didn’t want to know, Gulsah is delighted the role will arm her with skills and insight into an industry that she’d not previously considered. “I’d only been interested in working in fashion up until now, but it’s so competitive,” she said, “and without the right kind of experience I was getting nowhere.”
Although the Olympics and Paralympics can only guarantee a few weeks of work, Gulsah is confident she’s on the right track to securing permanent employment and credits her advisor, Jermaine Somuyiwa, for the opportunities that have come her way. “I’ve got an interview coming up for another job that starts after the Olympics and this wouldn’t have happened without Jermaine’s help. He treats me as an individual rather than just a number going through the system.”
Training for her Olympics role started earlier this week and with the Opening Ceremony only hours away, Gulsah is looking forward to being part of the team that keeps the athletes fed and watered. “It’s going to be an amazing experience and I can’t wait to get started,” she says with a beaming smile.
Renaisi is a member of the Work Programme supply chain for two Prime Contractors, Careers Development Group and Maximus and delivers quality employment services to long-term unemployed people across London. As an ‘end-to-end’ provider, we deliver a range of support services aimed at moving people from benefits and into sustainable work that suits them and their families. We have placed nearly 200 people into work since we began delivering in July 2011.
In addition to the Work Programme, we are delivering a bespoke employment project in Barnet, North London, which aims to support unemployed residents on four major estates back into work. Our doors opened in April this year at a one-stop-shop on Grahame Park, and we will continue our delivery, in partnership with Barnet Homes, Genesis Community and Community Barnet for the next two years.