Milton Keynes Executives Action founder, Melvin Hurley, went to Parliament this week to share his experiences of running a job club with Shadow Employment Minister, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP.
Monday’s meeting was set up by Emily Darlington and Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary candidates for the city, to help showcase the work MKEA is doing to help former managers and professionals seeking work in MK.
Stephen Timms invited the group to parliament after being impressed by the work he saw during a visit to Milton Keynes last year. He asked them to develop ideas on how to a future Labour government can reform the current government’s Work Programme.
Set up in late 2011, Milton Keynes Executives Action was set up to help mid/senior managers and business/technical professionals, made redundant during the recession as government services failed to help this group. Since being established, MKEA has help over 200 people over 80% of whom have returned to work or setup their own business - an impressive rate for an area of unemployment where it is exceedingly difficult to achieve success particularly the case with those over 50.
MKEA’s work has now been recognised by Milton Keynes Council who, from April 2014, has made the job club a Delivery Partner in its Neighbourhood Employment Programme.
“There is no easy solution to finding work when there are more unemployed people than jobs available, that is even more so for professional and managers over the age of 50. Yet these are the very people with the experience, knowledge and expertise that can help small and new businesses succeed.
“MKEA provides the training and support network to help these people secure a new job or start a new business. I am grateful to Andrew and Emily for helping me to share our success in Parliament and for raising the subject with Stephen Timms MP”, said Melvin Hurley founder of MKEA.
Emily Darlington, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for MK North, said: “Hidden in government statistics are the real stories of people who have been made redundant and are struggling to find work that is both full time and with a real wage. Failed by the current work programme, it is initiatives like MKEA which are successful in getting back to work by treating people with respect and not numbers.”
Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, added: “Now that the economy is on the mend we need to ensure that the benefits are shared across the job market. MKEA plays an important role in helping former managers to keep their skills up as they look for new ventures, as well as sharing practical skills with the community.”