Opening Doors programme providing opportunities for young people

A young woman from Sheffield is the latest recruit to Willmott Dixon’s Opening Doors work experience programme as she bids to further her skills set to gain full time employment.

Holly Brookes, 22 and from the Kiveton Park area of the city, had been out of work for months after being made redundant last year. Visiting her local Jobcentre Plus searching for a job, she was offered vital work experience by the Government-run organisation which has now led to her being offered an 8-week placement with one of the UK’s largest privately-owned companies, Willmott Dixon.

Holly is now based at Willmott Dixon’s Home Group Central branch in Rotherham, as she undertakes an administration placement with the company as it delivers its responsive repairs and voids maintenance contract with Home Group, one of the UK’s largest affordable housing providers.

Holly explains: “Being made redundant at any age is a shock but to be laid off so young was really disheartening. I had always been hardworking and once I finished college at the age of 20 I started work straight away.

“After receiving the news of being made redundant, I picked myself up and went to the local Jobcentre Plus and was so grateful to be offered work experience. I just wanted to do something that would hopefully lead somewhere, whilst also building on my skills to attract future employers.”

Willmott Dixon, a partner to Jobcentre Plus, offered Holly an 8-week placement on its award winning Opening Doors programme. Committed to making a difference to the lives of people locally by giving them the opportunity to experience working in the construction and maintenance industry, Holly is making a great impression on staff.

“Holly is a determined young person who clearly wants to get ahead and return to full-time employment. Our work experience programme is designed to help her do just that and Holly will have the opportunity to work across our business and further her skills.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships managing director Mick Williamson

Holly added: “Not only am I learning, I am enjoying being back in a work environment. I would urge other people struggling to find a job to make contact with companies to undertake work experience – at the end of the day it’s a win-win situation and you never know where it may lead.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships is working with Home Group to deliver responsive repairs and voids maintenance along with planned works and gas inspections to nearly 17,000 properties in the Central and North West regions of the country.

Holly’s placement comes after the community actions of Willmott Dixon staff received a Royal seal of approval, with the company achieving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. One of the areas highlighted by judges in making the award was the £1 million worth of community investment made by the company and staff each year to local good causes. The company has also received recognition after scooping gold in the ‘Excellence in Social Responsibility’ category of the prestigious Investors in People awards, whilst also recently receiving Business in the Community’s Community Mark with commendation for its societal benefit programme.