Our Solihull team welcomes 22 new starters through local community scheme

29 July 2020
Image of a Amey employee, wearing PPE, stood on a spade in grass.

Twenty-two people from Chelmsley Wood in the West Midlands, have all landed jobs with our Solihull team, thanks to a community scheme funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to give jobseekers new skills. 

Following training funded through the WMCA’s Connecting Communities programme, the residents are either helping to carry out household bin collections in Solihull, or maintaining green public spaces, such as parks, roundabouts and verges, across the borough. 

Connecting Communities gives local jobseekers tailored job advice and specialist support in the heart of their own community. In Chelmsley Wood, it is being delivered by the Colebridge Trust, a not-for-profit community and enterprise development organisation, at the Junction in Chapelhouse Road.  

With funding from the WMCA, the Colebridge Trust identified 60 candidates for the jobs with our Solihull team, arranged information sessions and interviews with us, and trained the residents to prepare them for the interviews. 

Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, said: “Although these are very difficult times, there are still job opportunities out there. One of our key priorities in rebuilding the economy after Covid-19 is to make sure those people who are unemployed get back into work as quickly as possible.  

“It’s great news that 22 local people have been able to get new jobs with Amey through the Connecting Communities programme. I wish them every success for the future.” 

Our Operations Manager in Solihull, Wayne Rowley, said: “Thanks to funding from the WMCA, we have been working with the Colebridge Trust to recruit local unemployed people for three years now. The quality of the candidates is always very high and gets better every year.  

“It’s been a fantastic to be able to help unemployed people find local work with us. I’m looking forward to working with each member of the new team over the coming weeks.” 

James Clinton, aged 33, who lives in Solihull, was unemployed for more than two years before landing a job as a ground worker with us. 

“I’m loving my new job and I feel that Connecting Communities really helped me to build my confidence and believe in my abilities,” he said.   

Serena Sale, employment and skills manager at the Colebridge Trust, said: “We are very proud of our learners. It’s been great to see them grow in confidence through the interview process.  

“We are continuing to support those who were unsuccessful by coaching them to apply for other work and helping them with employability skills.” 

Connecting Communities is funded by the WMCA using a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions, as part of the wider transfer of powers and funding from Whitehall to the West Midlands. 

There are nine programmes in communities across the West Midlands where unemployment is high and pay levels are low. Over the past year, almost 500 people have gained new jobs thanks to support from Connecting Communities.  

The location-based support is aimed at making it easier to engage with local residents and encouraging the communities themselves to use their existing social networks to spread the word about the help available.   

To find out more about Connecting Communities in Chelmsley Wood, visit https://colebridge.org/