Many reap rewards from free employment training


Stuart Cooke is a Knottingley resident who has been out of work for 15 years.

His personal circumstances meant he had to leave his job and was unable to return to work. He was referred to the Step Up programme and now believes his future is looking bright. 

“My situation was dire when I came to Step Up, I’d been out of work for such a long time and had no idea where to even begin.

Step Up has given me access to information to make that first step – over time I’d forgotten where or how to look for work and they’ve also helped me put together my CV.

“It’s local, which means I can get here really easily and it’s given me hope for the future – I genuinely believe I will get back into work for the first time in a long time.”

Step Up is a programme designed exactly for people like Stuart, it helps unemployed residents find work, training, qualifications and apprenticeships.

Since it was launched back in July, the programme has supported 27 people. Four are now in jobs, while others are being supported to find apprenticeships and directed to other programmes that can help them with training, qualifications, apprenticeships and getting back into work.

We continue to support all our customers even after they have found work, two of the people who we have helped into jobs so far are being supported to make a career change. One has enrolled on a course with our Adult and Community Education Service and the other is being supported into an apprenticeship.

The Step Up service also supports employers to develop plans to help upskill their workforce and to create career paths and it also helps those already in employment who would like to gain a promotion at work, move jobs or work towards a career change.

Step Up is a free service to:

  • Help unemployed residents find work
  • Help residents who are already in work to improve their skills, make a career change or find opportunities to learn and develop
  • Supports local businesses in development of their current employees for future skills needs

So, if you want to explore ways to achieve your career goals or as an employer you want to develop career progression routes to ensure you recruit and keep the very best people, then our Step Up programme might be of interest to you.

The Step Up office is located at Kellingley Social Club, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm for appointments. It is completely free of charge.

The programme will be made available across the wider Wakefield district in the near future.

For more information, please call 07584 532887.