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663JOB HUNTERS RETURN TO WORK.

Byline: Jenny Waddington BUSINESS REPORTER

AN AMBITIOUS campaign to create a staggering 600 jobs across the region in just 100 days has smashed its target, organisers have revealed today.

The scheme, which was launched in January at a Coventry Telegraphbacked exhibition in the city, aimed to place hundreds of longterm unemployed people back into work.

Sarina Russon launched the 'Jobs for a Better Community' campaign at the B2B Expo - which was organised jointly by the Telegraph, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Belgrade Theatre.

The aim was to engage the local business community and encourage them to give a local person a job. And although the target was to find 600 jobs in 100 days, organisers exceeded all expectations and successfully placed 663 people into work.

Mark Berlese, chief executive of Sarina Russo, said: "The campaign's strength has been its engagement with the local business community and their willingness to give a local person a chance.

"The overriding message we received from employers is they are looking for staff with the right attitude to work. Skills and processes can be taught on-the-job, but the right attitude is a wonderful commodity for jobseekers to possess. "In such a competitive employment market Sarina Russo Job Access works hard to develop our jobseeker's soft skills, particularly interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team."

The B2B Expo was hailed a huge success for the second year running, after attracting hundreds of businesses to the Belgrade Theatre.

More than 230 businesses attended the networking breakfast, which was sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, before a range of business-boosting exhibitions got underway.

The one-day event also featured an impressive line-up of professional speakers, including the Coventry Telegraph's editor Alun Thor ne.

Bob Jones, the Police & Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, was given the opportunity to listen to the concerns of small businesses from across Coventry and Warwickshire, before the Sarina Russon campaign was launched.

Ian O'Donnell, FSB Warwickshire and Coventry chairman, added: "We were delighted to launch this campaign at our B2B Expo in January and even more delighted that we not only achieved the 600 jobs target but exceeded it.

"Small businesses are vital to helping long term sick, disabled and students back into work. In fact, 95 per cent of this group that find work in the private sector will work for or start up a small or medium sized business.

Almost nine in ten - 88 per cent - unemployed people that are actively looking for work and find a job in the private sector will join, or start up, a small business."

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GOOD ADVICE: The B2B Expo at the Belgrade Theatre in January
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 11, 2013
Words:447
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