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Persistence pays off as job-hungry Sam joins Bromford

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Teenager Sam Preece wouldn't give up on his ambition to getthat crucial first foot on the jobs ladder.

Narrowly missing out in his bid to land a repairs teamapprenticeship last winter, 17-year-old Sam volunteered to work oneday a week with the Bromford social housing group on a no-paybasis.

His persistence and positive attitude paid off - managers were soimpressed that Sam was offered one of the first places onBromford's new Opportunities for Employment (O4E) scheme givingyoung people six months of paid work placement.

Sam, who is the son of a Bromford tenant in Lichfield, started workas part of Barry Summerfield's Staffordshire empty homes repairteam a couple of weeks ago and is enjoying every minute ofit.

Bromford Living repairs team manager Dave Round is full of praisefor Sam's get-up-and-go.

He said: "We were so impressed by Sam's response when he got thedisappointing news that he had missed out on the apprenticeshiplast winter.

"We took him up on his offer to work with the team on a voluntarybasis for one day a week - and he was nothing short ofamazing.

"His attitude and approach and general willingness to learn gainedhim huge respect throughout the team. And now he is working with usfive days a week - doing everything from applying sealant to fullyinstalling a bath including the fitting of pipework."

"He's a great lad and great example to any young person who wantsto break into the world of work."

Dave's sentiment is shared by economic inclusion manager JamesWalsh, who played a key role in devising the group's new 04E schemeaimed at jobless young people in Bromford neighbourhoods.

"We saw great potential in Sam and are so pleased that we have beenable to offer him this first step on the careers ladder," saidJames.

"He is certainly a great role model for other young people - andpositive proof that if you put in the time and effort you canachieve a positive outcome.

"O4E has drawn on our experiences with the government-funded FutureJobs Fund scheme and is a great way for young people to gainworkplace experience and build up their confidence.

"Although we make it clear at the start, that there is no guaranteeof a job at the end of the O4E placement, we do hope thatcandidates who do well will go on to apply for one of the newapprenticeship opportunities with Bromford.

"Linking our O4E and apprenticeship schemes will create up to 75internal work opportunities across Bromford over the next fiveyears.

"This will help us to build up the skills capability of ourcustomers and provide better access to a wider range of employmentopportunities - key objectives for all of us at Bromford."

To find out more about how Bromford is making a real difference tojob prospects for customers and the wider community, read theAnnual Review 2011, Bromford Street.
You can download aPDF version or view the 24-page report online