Inspired Outsourcing is giving hope to the long-term unemployed thanks to a new partnership with training company TKO Consulting.

The Newcastle-based contact centre has been working with the innovative training provider to expand its talent pool through a mix of creative Government-led engagement programmes working with the unemployed through music, fashion and sport.

Headed up by TKO director Richie Ellison, the award-winning social inclusion projects have helped improve the lives of hundreds of socially excluded groups using a mix of sports, fashion or music projects alongside classroom based training to help groups better appreciate the range of transferable skills they already have, including confidence-building, team work and communication.

Currently working on a ‘Best of Field’ project funded by The Fair Chance Fund for the clients of the Housing Association Home Group, with ex-NUFC defender Olivier Bernard, Richie Ellison, director at TKO Consulting, said: “We are fortunate to be able to utilise the expertise and knowledge of some of the best sports, fashion and music people in the region who all appreciate that a classroom isn’t for everyone and a pen and paper can sometimes limit an individual’s opportunity to showcase their abilities.

“By working with Inspired Outsourcing, we understand what they are looking for in potential candidates and it largely comes down to having the right attitude and teamwork ethic over experience.

“We have seen a remarkable transformation amongst people who, at the start of the programme, believed they had no connection with many skills that employers look for when they recruit.”

The partnership will help provide interview experience and employment opportunities to successful candidates working on its new and existing client base of brands across telecommunications, future planning services and utilities.

Kevin Hutchinson, director at Inspired Outsourcing, said: “Through working with TKO on its many schemes, we are hoping to attract more enthusiastic candidates to our full in-house training ‘academy’.

“Our ethos is a little different to other contact centres – we believe experience can be overrated and we look for big personalities with a ‘can do’ attitude.

“We invest heavily into training and development within the company and 90% of our existing management team have been promoted internally.”

44-year old Emlin Cole is one of the previous training programme’s success stories having gained employment with Inspired Outsourcing following 12 years of unemployment.

Following his latest promotion to quality analyst this month, he said: “After being out of work for so long, I thought there was no hope for me – I became a social recluse.

“So when the opportunity to get free training and work with the likes of Olivier Bernard came along, I thought I’d give it a go and now I am established in a full time job which I love and can do so much more than I thought possible.

“The management at Inspired have such positive attitudes, always encouraging the staff and rewarding hard work. It has also given me a great social life which was a bit of a life-line for me. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Inspired Outsourcing was established in 2013, has a turnover of £4.7million and is set to meet its £6million target by the end of 2016.

Inspired Outsourcing is situated on the 5th floor of Cuthbert house in Newcastle.

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