Walking on hot coals wouldn't feature on most people's CVs but the feat of endurance is helping young west Londoners take their first steps into the job market.

That is one of the bizarre tasks a group of 21 unemployed youths completed during a six-week course to boost their confidence, improve their skills and find a career.

Having graduated from the 'Our Club' programme at the Twickenham Stoop rugby stadium on Friday (November 14), all 21 have now been offered jobs by the initiative's partner firms Morrisons or the transport and logistics firm Wincanton, which is based in Feltham.

The 18 to 24-year-olds were also challenged to smash blocks of wood with their bare hands during the course, as well as practising more conventional workplace skills like giving a presentation to potential employers.

Video thumbnail, Our Club participants walk on hot coals
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Daniella Ludlow, of Southall, had been seeking work for nine months but after completing the course the 20-year-old has been offered a job at Morrisons in Ealing.

"I was a bit apprehensive at first but I gained a lot of confidence. They made us do things which took us out of our comfort zone," she said.

"If they'd asked me at the start of the course I might not have been up for walking on hot coals but I loved it so much I did it twice."

It's not just her career prospects which are now looking brighter. When she auditioned for the X Factor two years ago she was told she lacked the confidence to succeed, but now she is ready to have another crack at the reality show.

More than 200 young people across the country have now taken part in the Our Club programme, with 77 per cent still in work six months after completing the course.

As well as brushing up their employment skills like CV writing, the course aims to help give unemployed youths the belief to succeed.

Our Club participants at their graduation ceremony at the Twickenham Stoop
 

Our Club founder Christina Dennis said: "The Our Club community really unlocks the potential of all our participants, and I feel privileged that I can witness them develop, grow and become the best they can be. I'd like to pass on my congratulations to all graduating participants on their hard work over the course of this programme."

Our Club is setting up a permanent hub in the north east and plans to open five more, including one in London, over the next year.

Youth unemployment in Hounslow and Ealing has fallen by up to 40 per cent in the last year, according to figures published last month.