jo vane


An unemployed Romsey man has secured a job thanks to youth charity UKSA’s back to work programme, Change Direction, and funding from local housing association Aster Communities.

Jo Vane, 19, lives with his parents in an Aster Communities property. He first heard about the course through Aster Communities, who were interested in trying to help customers who were looking to find employment into some form of work or training.

They funded his place on the programme, which is a six-week engagement course based at UKSA on the Isle of Wight, using sailing and watersports as a catalyst to change. The programme combines on-the-water activities with marine-based work experience and personal mentoring about career options.

Jo said: “I thought I would give it a go and it was pretty cool, especially the powerboating – that was really fun. I’ve been sailing on keelboats and going on yachts, so it has really helped my confidence as I’m not good at talking to people but here I am now, I’ve come a long way.”

Jo attended work experience with local precision engineering firm, Abshot Engineering Ltd, using CNC Mills and learning about production and manufacturing practises. He was subsequently offered a permanent position within the company.

Jo added: “It’s pretty good. My parents are really happy, especially that I have got a job in something that I really want to do. I was not expecting that when I started the course at UKSA.”

Julian Collins, Managing Director of Abshot Engineering, said: “Jo Vane came to Abshot with an enthusiasm to learn new skills, and demonstrated respect for traditional methods. It was quickly apparent that with the correct training and direction; Jo could become a valued member of our team. Thanks to UKSA providing us with an avenue to trial talented new blood, the future for both Jo, and Abshot Engineering Ltd looks that little bit brighter.”

Gemma Frear, Aster Communities community development facilitator, said: “We thought USKA was offering a unique course that could engage people and offer positive life-changing experiences. We’re really proud of Jo and everyone else who’s taken part in the course – the fact that he’s has managed to secure a permanent position illustrates perfectly how grasping training opportunities and learning new skills can help people looking for employment find the perfect job for them.”

Aster Communities has local offices at The Hundred, Romsey.