The Jersey Employment Trust was very keen to employ Ric full time and was able to secure the funding to do so via the Community Jobs Fund. This financial incentive offered by Back to Work, provides charities and third-sector employers with the funding to employ an individual for up to 30 hours per week for 6 months. Eligible jobseekers have to be aged 16 â€“ 24 and registered unemployed for six months plus or any age and registered unemployed for 12 months or more. These roles should provide the candidate with skills and experience and be of tangible benefit to the wider community.
John Hill, The Woodshackâ€™s project manager, said that Ric â€œnow seems to be thriving in the environment that Acorn provides and since starting his confidence has returned and his obvious talent is there for all to see with the quality of his work.â€
We liaised with Back to Work who visited the site to see what Ricâ€™s role entailed and agreed that it met the criteria to receive funding. Ric has now been employed for almost a month and is going from strength to strength. Mike Webber, who manages the Community Jobs Fund, said of the programme: â€œRicâ€™s role at The Woodshack is a great example of why The Community Jobs Fund has been so successful for employers and jobseekers alike. The work Ric is doing will help bring him closer to unsubsidised employment by refreshing his skills and giving him recent experience. For the employer, they can deliver a community benefit that would not have been otherwise possible.â€
In Ricâ€™s own words, â€œA tree grows naturally from the earth upon which we stand. From just small seeds placed in ground giant organisms appear which provide societies, impoverished or affluent, with the most sustainable and versatile resource man could ever hope for. I love working with wood, and now I am working at Acorn, my furniture designs are coming to life in a rustic style using 100% recycled timber. What a wonderful resource.â€