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Social Value – Supporting Local People into Employment

‘Osborne’s Project Team at Number One Portsmouth were delighted to be amongst a number of employers who have helped support more than 1,000 long term unemployed local people to find work within the Solent area.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Lee Mason, hosted the event at the Guildhall to thank those who have contributed to the Solent Jobs Programme – which was set up in 2016 to offer help to anyone living in the Solent area with a recognised health condition who has been out of work for more than two years.

Collaborating with our Social Value Manager, Elisha Sempa, we engaged early with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) to create an Employment and Skills Plan that ensured all our key stakeholders within the community felt a part of the project experience. This was managed by me and Site Manager, Will Eddy.

We gave four people the opportunity to carry out administrative roles whilst working on our reception desk. The first three candidates, unfortunately for personal and on-going health problems, did not stay with us for long, but the importance of this programme is that they were given the opportunity.

Our fourth candidate, who had been unemployed for several years for medical reasons, had joined us and held the position for six months. She was then employed directly by Osborne for a further six months on a short term contract. This lady was truly an asset to the project team and worked well during very busy and demanding times throughout the project. When she left the business it was an emotional time for her as she has regained so much confidence and enjoyed working with the project team. For us, it was a great sense of achievement that we have contributed to her success and to have the confidence in continuing on with her career.

We also contributed to the local community by donating excess timber for re-use for Spirit in Sport/ Spirit in the Community and provided general building skills training to school candidates with a range of mental health issues including ADHD, anger management, anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Our contribution has helped them build confidence as well as the skills to concentrate more at school. Our supply chain also contributed to the local community by employing local apprentices and operatives.

I have collaborated with the Solent Jobs Programme on my last three projects and it was also a pleasure to attend the event and celebrate our success with the programme.’

by Jim McCormick

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