We find out how park and holiday home manufacturer Willerby has opened up a bright future for jobless young people…

Leading park and holiday home manufacturer Willerby is offering unemployed young people, who have faced challenges in their lives, sought-after career and training opportunities.

The company has joined forces with the Springboard Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), a project aimed at 16- to 29-year-olds from Hull, who are not in education, employment or training, and need help to develop their skills to access these opportunities.

One-to-one support
Led by Humber Learning Consortium and funded by the European Social Fund, the project offers one-to-one support for emotional wellbeing, confidence building, anxiety management and more, as well as CV writing, job searching and qualifications.

Since 2017, Willerby has employed four young people through the scheme, in a range of production roles, including Liam Marshall and James Lewis, who are now into their fourth year with the company.

Liam, 23, was just 19 when he joined Willerby as a production labourer and has recently been promoted to jig shop operative, building walls and roofs for Willerby’s premium holiday homes on the company’s newly-opened fifth production line at its Hull headquarters.

Liam said: ‘I was in a dark place before I started work at Willerby. I used to work on building sites, but I didn’t have a regular job or any money and I had to sign on at the job centre.

‘I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t come to Willerby. I’m now getting married, learning to drive and I’ve got my own home. I’ve stepped up, I have a big work family and I’m over the moon.’

Life’s a gas!
James, 30, joined Willerby as a production labourer in 2017 and is now a trainee gas fitter, which includes preparing copper piping, fitting ovens and installing electric fires in holiday homes manufactured on production line two.

James said: ‘My last job didn’t work out long term and I wasn’t earning enough to manage. I needed something more solid and sustainable.

‘I didn’t know where to go and it was really hard until I heard about Springboard YEI. Willerby is a fantastic place to work and everyone is caring and supportive, especially when you’re learning.

‘I’ve now got my own place and a son, and I didn’t see any of that coming four years ago. My life has snowballed in the best way possible since joining Willerby.’

Aaron Cambridge, head of manufacturing at Willerby, said: ‘It’s fantastic to be able to offer these opportunities to young people and watch their knowledge, skills and confidence grow as they progress within their roles. We train them on the job and offer courses or additional training to help them progress even further.

‘Young people are our future and the background work that Springboard YEI does sets them up for the world of work. We’re really proud of Liam and James and we’re looking forward to seeing our new starters progress in the same way.’

Great partnership
Jo Narborough, Hull City Council’s Springboard YEI Key Worker Project Manager, said: ‘We’re delighted to work in partnership with Willerby to help young people from our youth employment project into sustained work.

‘This relationship with the UK’s largest manufacturer of holiday homes and lodges is providing much-needed skilled roles and opportunities for local 16- to 29-year-olds.’

For more information on Willerby and its holiday homes, lodges and residential park homes, visit www.willerby.com