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FLEETWOOD firms have 29 eager work experience volunteers offering their services to businesses in the town.

The volunteers – aged 18 to 24 – are taking part in a new Job Centre scheme aimed at helping the unemployed boost their CVs and job prospects.

Carefully vetted by Job Centre staff, the volunteers have agreed to spend between 25 and 30 hours a week in a business for up to eight weeks.

Job Centre’s Tracy Flanagan told a meeting of Fleetwood Chamber of Trade and Commerce: “This is all part of the agenda on how we get Britain working again.

“It’s The Big Society. You can have someone working in your business and they can get something on their CV.

“We ask that businesses supply the volunteer with a reference at the end of their placement to help them in their search for full employment.

“We already have some businesses in the town taking part in the scheme and some people have already found permanent employment thanks to it.

“This scheme helps businesses, but helps the young people as well.”

Those interested in the scheme are interviewed by Job Centre staff and told of the importance of fulfilling the placement. They are then tied into the scheme and can face punitive measures if they do not complete their placement.

At least three businesses registered an interest in the work placement scheme at the meeting, held in the North Euston Hotel, on The Esplanade on Wednesday night.

Mike Sanderson, chairman of the Chamber said: “This is good news.

“There’s 29 people locally looking and there’s plenty of employers in the town with opportunities.

“It’s exciting to know we’ve got people prepared to give them a chance.

“And with these schemes you can find someone that’s a gem.

“It’s good they’re vetted because in my experience, you can go through half a dozen people before you find someone that’s any good.”

The work experience scheme is being rolled out across the country as the government attempts to get more people into work, following a rise in unemployment.