A year since its launch, employability service West Cumbria Works has helped over 60 unemployed Cumbrians get back into work.

Launched by Sellafield Ltd in July 2015, West Cumbria Works – a service aimed at helping unemployed and underemployed people in Copeland and Allerdale acquire the skills, behaviours and experience required to find work – has to date helped 62 local people gain jobs and is supporting another 217 improve their employability skills and find employment.

From Sellafield Ltd’s supply chain partners to large organisations, the successful indivduals have found work with various local businesses after receiving tailored one-to-one support from West Cumbria Works.

The service has been hailed as an employment lifeline, giving local people such as Cathie Hunter, a 48-year-old from Egremont, the support and advice they need to get back onto the career ladder.

After being made redundant as an agency worker in the nuclear industry at the start of the year, Cathie found herself unemployed and sought the help of West Cumbria Works.

Two months later Cathie secured a job with NuGen, the company behind new nuclear power station, Moorside.

Cathie said: “West Cumbria Works took the time to really help me think about the options and choices available. At the time when I approached them I couldn’t see those opportunites in front of me; I was struggling to identify my key skills and my confidence was lacking in my interview technique (it had been a considerable amount of time since I’d had a formal interview).

“It felt great walking into my interview with the enormous amount of confidence I’d gained through West Cumbria Works. I am extremely grateful to the service for helping me get my job with NuGen, which I am finding to be inspiring and stimulating role.”

Helen Fisher said: “It’s fantastic to see since we launched West Cumbria Works over a year ago, that the service is helping to break down barriers to employment for a growing number of local people.

“It’s pleasing to see so many local businesses – no matter their size – supporting the service and giving west Cumbrians a chance to change their lives for the better.

“I hope to see the service continue to grow and support west Cumbrian people improve their employment prospects and a talent pool of individuals to help companies in and around west Cumbria thrive.”