Despite having skills and qualifications, many young people find that without experience they can’t get jobs, or even an interview.
But a Pinchbeck-based business has been helping provide a much needed stepping stone to help unemployed 18-24 year olds get the confidence and experience they need to get into the world of work.
Greenyard Fresh UK, which has premises in Stephenson Avenue, runs its own Movement to Work scheme - offering roles to help give young people that first step on the ladder.
The business specialises in importing, ripening and pre-packing fruit and has departments ranging from IT, to Quality Assurance to Marketing and Logistics.
Human Resources Advisor Mark Bennett and Training and Development Advisor Helen Parker created the Movement to Work project at Greenyard and are understandably proud of the scheme.
Helen said: “We are very passionate about this. We never say they are guaranteed a job at the end of it but we want to show we are not just a factory. We have a range of roles and want to give people the opportunity to gain life skills”.
Those who take part in the scheme are unemployed, but instead of simply ‘signing-on’ and having no work to go to, they complete a four week programme at Greenyard Fresh in a chosen department.
One of the scheme’s success stories is Kyle Roache (23) of Spalding. He graduated from Norwich University after studying media, film and marketing last summer.
But despite sending out ten job applications a week, without experience he could not get a job, or interview.
He said: “I heard about the Movement to Work Scheme through the job centre and I was placed in the Marketing Department.”
He impressed his bosses so much that they offered him a six-month contract in the Marketing Department at the end of the scheme.
His skills and confidence continued to be boosted, and he now runs his own copywriting business.
Kyle said: “Greenyard helped me a lot. I have a lot to owe to them.”
Another candidate was offered an engineering apprenticeship through the company after he finished the scheme.
At the end of the four-week programme, all candidates have to do a presentation to management on what they have learnt and achieved.
Those who take part in the scheme are directed to it via their contact at the job centre.
They are then referred to Spalding-based Steadfast Vocational Training which works with Greenyard Fresh. Steadfast runs a ‘ready for work’ week’s training before getting them onto the Movement to Work Scheme.
Denise Sheed, Key Account Manager for Steadfast, said: “Because they have been out of employment for a long time we help them build their social skills and overcome any barriers.”
Laura Slayven, Employer Relations Lead, at the Spalding Jobcentre Plus, said: “The idea is to get them that experience and opportunity; to see how a company of this size operates.
“We look at matching the customer into the department and they have a really wide area and product here.
“This is a very important process for them to have and for Greenyard to give us this opportunity.
“For young people it is catch-22 - you need to get experience to be able to get into a position, having that work ethic and interview skills.”
For young people unable to find employment, being on benefits with no place of work can also be very isolating.
Those candidates that we spoke to who have taken part in the Movement to Work Scheme told how it has also helped to boost their confidence, having people around them and that routine of going into a workplace.
Ashley MacLennan (21) from Weston, was placed in the IT Department.
He told us how the company will be using a presentation he devised for future inductions, to explain to new users how to operate elements of the business’ computer system.
Alan Forrester, Managing Director of Greenyard Fresh, has also praised the scheme.
He said: “It gives them real practical work, helping them become a real part of what we do.
“It gives them the chance to spend time in a business, learning new skills and allowing them to develop a new mindset.”
○ Would you like to offer any of the candidates who have completed the scheme a paid job opportunity?
If so, you can contact Laura Slayven at the Spalding Jobcentre Plus via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEET THE CANDIDATES:
○ Kyle Roache (23) - Marketing:
Kyle, from Spalding, spent time in the Marketing Department.
He said: “My work involved writing content descriptions for the website, looking after stock intake and making sure copy gets over to clients on time.
“I found it difficult to get into work after leaving uni, having no experience and this helped me a lot. I now work for myself as a copywriter. I have my first client and am in talks with others.”
○ Emily Park (18) - Finance Department:
Emily, from Spalding, said: “I finished college in July. I studied childcare. This is a big difference. I was looking for a job and could not get a job interview. I applied for all sorts of jobs, mostly financial. I have been working here as a sales ledger, purchase ledger and managing accounts. I have learnt a lot. There is more to it than I thought but I have enjoyed it. I would like now to look at a career in finance.”
○ Stephen Poxon (24) - Health and Safety:
Stephen, from Long Sutton, said: “I worked in manual handling training and checking the racking etc in the health and safety department.
“Before this I was volunteering in a charity shop in Spalding.
“I have had casual jobs since leaving school with GCSEs so this has helped me build my confidence and knowledge.
“I would like to look now at pursuing work in Health and Safety and those skills are transferable into other business.”
○ Joseph Clark (20) - Quality Assurance:
Joseph, from Cowbit,said: “I was unemployed and deemed this a very good opportunity to get some experience from a factory.
“My work has been checking the goods that come in and manaufacture checks.
“I have enjoyed it and could see myself going into Quality Assurance. It’s not just standing on a line.
“It’s made me more confident in being able to pick out a bad or good product.”
○ Ashley MacLennan (21) - IT:
Ashley, from Weston, said: “I have been based in the IT Department, for technical work, and also fixing bar code scanners and creating new users’ email addresses.
“A presentation I created for new users will be used in future inductions.
“I finished at Boston College last year where I studied coding and have had causal work but was unemployed for a few weeks when I heard about this scheme.
“I have really enjoyed it.”
○ Hannah Budworth (24) - Central Admin Department:
annah, from Moulton Chapel, took part in the scheme in November.
She said: “I had to sign on for family reasons around September time.
“I have been based in the Central Admin Department, amending orders and processing things, talking with the drivers.
“It has shown me what direction I want to go in.
“I have definitely enjoyed it. People have taken a lot of time out to show me what needs doing.