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Bridge students settle in to life at Mackman

The Bridge Project exists to provide support, education and training to assist disadvantaged adults in the community. Mackman has worked with The Bridge for a number of years as the outsourced marketing department for the important organisation. Paul Mackman, director, says “The Bridge, its staff and the people they serve are an integral part of our community. We support them fully as a business, and individually.”

Paul is a trustee for the charity and initiated a dialogue with the team at The Bridge in 2012 to see if there were other ways Mackman might be able to help the charity’s students. Having looked at what the students were learning, it was suggested that there could be an opportunity for a number of them to undertake a work placement with the company.

Michael Balls and Patrick Parker, students at The Bridge, are both undertaking a course called ‘Skills for Progression’ and were invited to participate in an 8 week work placement with Mackman. The course is vocationally related to general office based tasks which include jobs like filing, photocopying, faxing and administrative computer work. The pair travelled independently to the Mackman office for half a day a week to complete individual regular tasks.

“Both Michael and Patrick integrated seamlessly into life at Mackman. They not only achieved, but outperformed when it came to every task we put before them. It was obvious to us that they should join as part of the company on a permanent basis,” says Paul.

Jacqui Skillicorn from The Bridge Project said, “Work placements are very important to our learners. It enhances their accredited training to show they have transferable skills and can utilise these elsewhere. It also gives them a sense of purpose and meaningful work.”

Michael looks after the operational elements at Mackman, including organising recycling, shredding and tending to the onsite vegetable garden. Patrick supports the technical team with a range of administrative duties, including data entry.

Patrick Parker says, “It’s a great place to work, just like a family. I enjoy the challenges and supporting the technical team.”

Michael Balls says, “I look forward to coming here because everyone’s so friendly. It’s good to be busy and I like all my jobs!”

For more information about The Bridge Project, visit their website here.

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