EVERY little helps for long-term unemployed people looking to escape the dole queue on Wearside.
Sunderland City Council is working with supermarket giant Tesco to make sure the chain’s new Roker store provides the maximum value for jobseekers.
Eight sessions have been held in the civic centre’s council chamber this week, with all those taking part either long-term unemployed or young people seeking their first job.
Tesco has guaranteed interviews for 800 people, with 120 vacancies up for grabs at the store when it opens in June.
But even those not fortunate enough to land a post would still benefit from the experience, said deputy council leader Councillor Harry Trueman.
“Everyone will be helped with advice about how to apply, filling in forms and interview technique,” he said.
Tesco corporate affairs manager Doug Wilson said the scheme was a win/win for both the company and the council.
“Sunderland is one of our Regeneration Partnership stores, of which we have more than 50,” he said. “We have worked with 5,000 long-term unemployed people.
“It is a partnership with Sunderland City Council in which we are inviting people to come along and see what jobs are available, what opportunities there will be when the store opens in June.”
Jade Gladstone, who is keen to get into work after having her first child, said: “It was really interesting today with some great advice on how to put yourself and your skills forward at interviews.”
The 20-year-old, from Southwick, added: “I’ll feel even more confident in looking for work after I’ve had the training.
“After being at college and then having my baby, I have been away from work for almost three years so this a great opportunity for me.”
Peter Barclay, 45, from High Barnes, is looking for a secure post. “Since I lost my job almost five years ago I’ve been in and out of work,” he said.
“People tend to write long-term unemployed people off, but we’ve all got out own particular skills.
“Hopefully, with the kind of support and preparation we’re being provided with, I’ll stand a much better chance of getting a job.”