Two housing associations are joining forces to help unemployed residents gain some of the skills they need to find full-time work.

Thrive Homes and Watford Community Housing Trust has launched the joint venture in conjunction with the Housing Leadership Foundation (HLF).

The ‘Jobs at Home’ initiative has already taken on 14 tenants who were either unemployed or in insecure employment and plans are underway to add another six members to the team.

The team are responsible for internal decoration of some of the combined 9,000 homes owned by the two organisations.

From April, Jobs at Home will also offer a handyperson service and fit aids and adaptations, such as grab rails and wet rooms, to support independent living.

Watford resident Luke Simpson, 23, is a qualified plumber and joined the program to hone his trade and learn new skills.

He said: "I qualified four years ago but couldn’t get plumbing work so took various jobs in sales to get by.

"I’m really happy to be back in the trade, which is what I always wanted to do.

"Already, I’ve learnt a lot on the painting and decorating side and I’m looking forward to learning other skills too."

Gareth Lewis, director of property and new business at the trust, said: "The new year is a fitting time to start a job and launch a venture so we are all very excited and ambitious for Jobs at Home and wish the team well."