A special awards ceremony was held today (Wednesday, December 14), to celebrate the achievements of people across the city.
The Leicester Adult Education College on Wellington Street, Leicester, hosted the event to mark the success achieved by the Multi Access Centre (MAC) programme, which aims to get unemployed people back into work.
Mike Dalzell, head of economic regeneration at Leicester City Council, said: “We are celebrating what the MAC network has achieved. We have helped thousands of people; many who have actually got back into work. It is a great feeling for me and my staff to see the result at the end.”
The aim of MAC’s across the city are to engage those furthest away from the labour market and to provide support to individuals and their families by getting them back into work through help with interview techniques, CV tips, job searches, housing advice, debt advice training, and much more.
The project started out as part of the ‘Work Highcross’ vision in 2009, with the first centres opening up in Highfields and the city. In total the project has engaged 5,852 people with figures at the end of December 2010 indicating that an average of 12.5 jobs were secured a month.
Senior manager for worklessness, Nelda Kappia said: “Our policy is to help anyone who is unemployed and to not turn anyone away. It is vital for us to be able to give people this opportunity.”
There were awards handed out for Outstanding Employer, which went to John Lewis; Outstanding MAC Achiever, which was won by Tina Degia, Outstanding MAC Learner, which went to Anthony Pope, and eight other awards for MAC Champions across the city.
Jai Khemlani of Fosse Road South was one of the recipients of the MAC Champion Award. He started attending his local MAC in January 2011, and said: “Coming here has helped me with my interview techniques and with updating my CV. I suffered from depression six months ago and the support I received here was amazing. It has really built my confidence.”
He is now looking to get back into work in the finance sector after completing a business and admin course at the Skills Centre.
On receiving her MAC Champion Award for the Braunstone area, Usha Gajjar said: “I have really enjoyed coming here. I have met so many wonderful people and my confidence has grown so much. I can now stand up and speak in front of you all which is something I couldn’t do before.”
Other MAC Champion winners included; Sally Freer, Jachie Eden, Razina Mussa, Aminha Cruz, Chris Neal, Quirino Gomes and Shahil Faruk.
Cllr Ted Cassidy, who presented awards to all the winners, said: “ This event is about the celebration of achievements and about people getting back into work through MAC. I have heard some fantastic stories about people who have overcome huge barriers and got back into employment.”