Council help scheme opens door to new career in IT for Josh

HUNDREDS of people continue to get their foot on the career ladder with help from a work experience programme delivered by Staffordshire County Council.

Twenty-eight-year-old Josh Simpson, from Penkridge is the latest person to benefit from the Open Door Staffordshire programme having secured a permanent job with Stone Computers Ltd, based at Acton Gate in Stafford.

Josh finished at Staffordshire University in 2019 but was finding it difficult to find a job in his chosen career as a software developer.

Having contacted Open Door, the team arranged a 12-week work experience placement for Josh with Stone Computers. During his placement Josh applied for a role in the asset disposal team and was successful. During lockdown he then applied for a promotion of Repair Technician which he was also successful with and started in August.

Talking about his experience of Open Door and securing his dream job, Josh said: “I found it difficult to gain employment in IT after finishing my degree course, partly due to my lack of experience but also because I struggle to sell myself in an interview. I knew that I just needed someone to give me a chance, and I got that chance with Open Door. I have my perfect job and I couldn’t be happier.

“Stone Computers, and my managers, have been great for giving me the chance to prove myself. I would most definitely recommend the programme to anyone who is struggling with gaining employment, it has quite literally changed my life for the better.”

The programme, which was introduced in 2009, helps prepare people for the world of work by offering them a twelve week work experience placement.

Over 1,100 people from across the county have already benefited from the programme so far.

The scheme provides work placements within council departments and external organisations depending on the candidates preferred area of work.

During their placement people get valuable work experience which they can put on their CV, a reference from their manager, as well as access to certain training courses. People also get the opportunity to apply for any internally advertised jobs with the council.

Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Our Open Door programme is part of our wider plan to build a strong economy here in Staffordshire, creating more better paid jobs and helping people to improve their skills,

“Through the programme, we can offer candidates a voluntary, tailored work experience placement within a wide variety of job roles to suit the career they are looking for. We’re very proud of the scheme and everyone who has been through it, many of whom just like Josh who have gone into full time employment.”

The programme is available to anyone over 18 and focuses on helping people who face difficulties and barriers in finding work. This could include people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, children leaving care, school leavers, and graduates.

For further information on the Open Door Staffordshire scheme please contact 01785 854486 or email


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