From education to employment

sencia Fast Track £1m Mersey Project

Unemployed people in the Wirral on Merseyside are benefiting from a £1m Government funded project aimed at matching their skills with real job vacancies.

The £1m contract, known as Mersey Fast Track Project, is being delivered by employability business sencia, part of the Employability and Skills Group (esg), from its offices in Birkenhead. The contract is funded by the Learning and Skills Council.

Di Fryar, Operations Director, sencia explains: "This is a common sense approach to filling job vacancies by making sure that customers are in the best possible position to secure employment. If a client is matched to a job in, for example, retail, the project staff aims to ensure that the customer’s CV matches all the requirements in the job’s Person Specification.

"This might include accredited training in the form of a National Vocational Qualification in Retail, and non-accredited training such as a basic manual handling course to help with stock taking, all of which would be requirements for that vacancy. The result of the activity should be that the customer receives a guaranteed job interview, wherever possible."

Anthony Sullivan, aged 44 from Birkenhead, had been unemployed for 18 months when he got involved in the Mersey Fast Track Project. Now employed as a Clerical Officer with the National Health Service, Anthony says: "The assistance and guidance provided by sencia was thoroughly professional and extremely helpful and was a major factor in my success at interview resulting in my job offer. I feel that without this support I would still be struggling."

sencia’s contract includes the development of Action Plans for almost 500 unemployed people, who will be expected to take part in skills development activities leading to new qualifications. The effectiveness of the project will also be reviewed in terms of how it fits within the wider context of Government funded skills for work initiatives, including Train to Gain and Local Employment Partnerships. sencia’s contract runs until the end of 2010. For further information visit


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