UNEMPLOYED people are being given a helping hand in a recruiting scheme with Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).
WDH has worked with JobCentre Plus to get 20 local people back into work by giving them roles within the organisation.
The new recruits have signed six-month contracts and will be giving support to tenants during the government’s welfare reform changes.
Jordan Farmer, 19, from Upton, is one of the 20 new recruits and is currently working at the South Elmsall Service Access Point.
He previously worked at Connexions, in Wakefield, where he helped teenagers find work or training, and achieved an NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service. But he spent almost six months looking for work after his contract expired earlier this year.
He is now thriving in his new role at WDH, which involves visiting tenants to discuss environmental improvements on their estates.
Mr Farmer said: “It’s really good and I’m really enjoying it. There’s a lot of variety in the work I do, and hopefully this opportunity will help me to secure permanent employment.”
Mr Farmer and the other new recruits will be helping WDH as it takes part in a pilot scheme with the Department for Work and Pensions.
It will see many tenants in some area receiving their housing benefit directly, rather than the current system where it is paid to WDH.
The new employees will help tenants to adjust to the new system by helping them to establish bank accounts and set up direct debit payments for their rent.
They will also provide support to any tenants who fall behind with rent payments.
Kevin Dodd, chief executive of WDH, said: “We are committed to getting Wakefield working and we invest in the district as much as possible.
“Welfare reform is a major issue which affects the vast majority of our tenants, and these new employees will play a crucial part in making sure that they fully understand these changes and how they will affect their lives, primarily how to manage their money and accessing services online.
“The new employees will also benefit from additional training to develop their skills, helping them to secure future employment and establish careers.”