New Deal programme helps with return to work

"When you feel that people aren’t even replying to your applications because of your age, it boosts your ego to be part of a company. You feel part of life again," says Jim Green, who has just completed the government’s New Deal programme and is now employed full-time by BS Tooling in Mallusk.

Jim Green, who was made redundant after almost 40 years in Mackies, explains how he sought help to return to employment: "I was inspired by a piece in the News Letter," says Jim. "I read of how an old friend had found employment with B&Q through New Deal 50plus and called my JobCentre for more information.

"My Personal Adviser, Carol Millen, was very helpful and gave me the confidence to apply for jobs in new areas. I applied for this position of toolmaker and moved to BS Tooling."

Carole Marcus, Head of Human Resources at the company, emphasised the benefits of having Jim on board.

"Over recent years, our main source of growth has been through the recruitment of apprentices, whom we train to the required skill level, but Jim came to us through the New Deal programme as an experienced worker, with extremely valuable skills.

"We manufacture specialist tooling for the automotive foundry industry, for end customers such as Ford, Peugeot and Renault. Their quality standards are exacting and we need workers like Jim with a sound background in engineering to help us deliver the goods."

Jim, a keen bowler, says that he loves being back at work: "I’ve learnt that life begins at 50 and I would encourage others to take hold of the opportunities offered under the New Deal programme." (SP)

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