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MINT Employment Service Moves to The Forum

MINT, City College Norwich’s new employment service for 16 to 25 year olds facing barriers to paid work, relocated from its Ipswich Road site to The Forum, Norwich, on Wednesday 20th April.   

The move is an exciting development for MINT, which has been steadily building up its client base since it was established in August last year.  The employment service now has over 50 young people on its books and is developing links with a growing number of employers. 

MINT is specifically for young people who face barriers to employment, such as having a learning difficulty or disability, mental health problems or low academic skills.  The service helps prepare its clients for employment and aims to place them into sustainable, paid employment. 

MINT uses a method called Training in Systematic Instruction to teach its clients the skills they need on the job.  Dedicated Job Coaches spend up to 8 weeks alongside the client in the workplace, breaking the components of the job down into simple, manageable steps for the young person to master.  This approach is tailored to the young person’s abilities, for example by using pictures with clients who may find written instructions difficult to follow.       

Scott Bikliqi, 25, from Norwich, is one young person who has been helped by MINT.  Scott, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was given support with job searching, interview skills and developing his CV.  He was then offered an interview and a week-long trial with home care support provider Carewatch Norwich.  A Job Coach helped Scott learn how to carry out key aspects of the job, as well as working with him on communication skills in the workplace. 

Scott has now been taken on by Carewatch (Norwich) as an Administrative Assistant in their office in Norwich.  Carewatch (Norwich)’s Assistant Manager, Sharon Pointer, said: “Working with MINT took away a lot of the burden of recruitment for us.  Time is precious so it was very helpful to have the Job Coaches working with Scott to help him understand what was required in the role.”  

Dick Palmer, Principal, City College Norwich, said: “MINT has shown that, with the right support, young people facing barriers to employment can secure sustainable, paid work.  Moving to The Forum will help to further raise the profile of MINT and we look forward to working with even more employers and young people as the service continues to grow and develop.”     

Welcoming City College’s decision to locate the MINT Employment Service at The Forum, Robin Hall, Chief Executive of the Forum Trust, said: “MINT is a creative new initiative helping disadvantaged young people to find real jobs in today’s challenging labour market. That has to be worthwhile and we hope that The Forum’s footfall and easy accessibility will help MINT to grow and assist an increasing number of young people.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about MINT’s service for employers and for young people facing barriers to employment can call the team on (01603) 773 760 or email mintenquiries@ccn.ac.uk.