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First external placement for 04E

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Bromford has recruited its first external 'Opportunities 4 Employment' (O4E)* placement since it launched the scheme in January this year. Ten other individuals have completed Phase One of O4E since it was introduced within the business but this is the first time an individual has been taken on outside of Bromford.

Alex Mason, a single mum aged 36, from the West Midlands has started work as an administrator for the kitchen and bathroom refurbishment business, SR Property Services and Wates Living Space in Norton Canes, near Cannock. She says: "I've got two young daughters so had been at home and then only able to get volunteering and temporary roles till this came along. I have been made to feel so welcome and part of a team which is a new experience for me. I enjoy helping Bromford customers and as one myself, know how it works and can reassure them if they are having work done or when elderly people need extra help."

Ben Thompson, building surveyor at Bromford, said: "Alex is an ideal fit as being an existing customer of ours, she can relate well to other Bromford customers who SR Property Services and Wates supply kitchens and bathrooms for. We've had some great feedback already - in the first two weeks of her starting I was told by four different customers how well she was doing and they couldn't believe she had just taken on the role."

Stephen Tracey, project manager for Wates, said: "We made a commitment to take on local people and when we heard from Bromford about O4E it made sense. We saw the benefit of someone being based in the office to provide an improved service. Alex's CV stood out and she shone at interview. She has fitted in very well. We are a busy, family-run business and a small close-knit team so it's key that we got the right person."

After successful completion of her 11 months placement and on-the-job training, Alex will be eligible for a permanent role.

*Bromford's O4E provides local people with opportunities to gain six months paid experience and new skills. Each placement is supported to develop personal and employability skills in the workplace with a view to leading to permanent employment.

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