What has Bacar Si been up to this week?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Et Business -

Mon­day

I like to get to work early on Mon­day morn­ings – flexi-time means that an early start also means an early fin­ish! And I’m more pro­duc­tive in the morn­ings.

My role at PECT is to as­sist with the Warm Homes project which helps peo­ple in Peter­bor­ough re­duce their bills by be­ing en­ergy smart. Part of this in­volves vis­it­ing peo­ple in their homes to pro­vide ad­vice on how to use less en­ergy. We also leave peo­ple with a pack with in­for­ma­tion on re­duc­ing gas and elec­tric­ity bills, and items like en­ergy sav­ing light bulbs, shower timers, and ther­mostats.

I catch up on e-mails be­fore pre­par­ing ev­ery­thing we need for our Warm Homes vis­its to­day. I’m out of the of­fice all day vis­it­ing peo­ple in Pas­ton.

Tues­day

Each Warm Home visit takes the house­hold through a ques­tion­naire. This helps us pin­point ar­eas where they could save money. For ex­am­ple, on a visit yes­ter­day we dis­cov­ered that one fam­ily al­ways fill the ket­tle up to the max­i­mum amount just to make a sin­gle cup of tea! This is a huge waste of en­ergy which is bad for the en­vi­ron­ment and also just money down the drain.

By sug­gest­ing sim­ple changes to the way peo­ple live there are huge en­vi­ron­men­tal and fi­nan­cial sav­ings to be made. Many peo­ple just do cer­tain things out of habit with­out even think­ing. It’s my job to help them de­velop more en­ergy smart habits.

I spend Tues­day com­pil­ing the data from the ques­tion­naire so the re­sults are in a use­ful for­mat. We phone ev­ery­one who re­ceived a visit three months later to see what changes they have made, and com­pare it against the orig­i­nal in­for­ma­tion in the ques­tion­naire.

Wed­nes­day

Much of to­day is taken up with a train­ing course on as­sertive com­mu­ni­ca­tions. My role at PECT was one of the 167 cre­ated in Peter­bor­ough as part of the Fu­ture Jobs Fund. This govern­ment scheme aims to get un­em­ployed young peo­ple aged 18-24 who have been on Jobs Seekers Al­lowance for be­tween 26-50 weeks back into work. Train­ing is a pri­or­ity for ev­ery­one tak­ing part in the six­month scheme to en­sure when we leave our po­si­tions we have the skills needed to go on and get a job.

For many peo­ple it is dif­fi­cult to find work at the moment. And for a young per­son with limited ex­pe­ri­ence it can be quite crush­ing go­ing to in­ter­view af­ter in­ter­view and never get­ting any­where. The Fu­ture Jobs Fund gives you a chance to get your foot on the ca­reer lad­der and gain in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

Thurs­day

Blog­ging and tweet­ing are new things for me! Just two of the new skills I’ve picked up since my time at PECT! I write a blog for the PECT web­site (www.pect.org.uk) and for the Fu­ture Jobs Fund blog (http://fu­ture­job­s­fund.blogspot.com). I then tweet with a link di­rect­ing

The week has flown by. I am re­ally en­joy­ing work­ing at PECT and am grate­ful for the ex­pe­ri­ence and all the new skills I’m pick­ing up. Af­ter this six-month place­ment I feel that I’ll be in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to get a job.

I have built up some time off in lieu be­cause I helped out at the Green Fes­ti­val launch on Satur­day, May 29, so I’m only work­ing half a day to­day. I spend it do­ing a stock take of our en­ergy sav­ing ma­te­ri­als which go in the packs and place an or­der for some items we’re run­ning low on.

A quick team meet­ing gives me the chance to update my col­leagues about the work I’ve been do­ing. I fin­ish my (short) day with some fol­low-up phone calls to peo­ple we’ve vis­ited.

One man has made huge changes – his habit of leav­ing the heat­ing on full all day and open­ing the win­dows if he got hot was great for his neigh­bours in the flats above who never had to put their heat­ing on, but aw­ful for the en­vi­ron­ment and for his pocket! It’s nice to know the work I’m do­ing re­ally is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

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