Two people, who between them have notched up over 2,000 job applications, are finally back in work thanks to an innovative partnership between the town’s latest high street retailer and Ingeus, an organisation that helps unemployed people into suitable, lasting employment.
Wendy Ward (47), from Boughton and 23-year-old Michael Arnold, of Mansfield, were two of more than 30 Ingeus candidates prepared for interviews and then offered jobs at B&M’s busy new store on Stockwell Gate.
Between them, they’re now serving hundreds of customers each day with a broad range of household, food and electrical goods and have kept the store fully stocked since it opened for business a month ago.
“Being without a job for almost six years was hard,” said Wendy. “Each day was the same and, despite my experience in retailing, I rarely heard anything back from my endless applications for jobs.” Registered with Mansfield’s Jobcentre Plus, Wendy was referred to Ingeus for specialist help and support, a move that soon paid dividends.
“Ingeus helped me develop my employment skills, such as writing an effective CV and learning how to get the most from job interviews,” she added. “With my employment advisor, I then searched for jobs that were of interest to me, and was trained in the skills I would need to succeed… and I did!”
Over recent months, Michael had undertaken a number of short-term warehousing contracts, but none had led to a permanent job. He was referred to Ingeus so that he could benefit from their specialist employment services.
Before the new store opened, B&M urgently needed to recruit over 30 new members of staff to get up and running in time for the opening. Ingeus’ Employer Services Team worked in partnership with B&M to put forward suitable Ingeus clients in return for guaranteed interview slots.
“Opening a new B&M store is a challenge, not least because it’s always a race against time,” said store manager Andrew Wardrop. “Being able to rely on the services of Ingeus was a great help because the people they put forward for job interviews were ready for work and already knew what it would be like in a busy retail environment.”
Ingeus is the UK’s largest provider of the Work Porgramme: the Government’s new initiative to help more people into lasting employement. The focus of the Work Programme is supporting people into jobs that last, which means working closely with employers to ensure Ingeus places the right candidates into the right roles.
l To find out more about Ingeus’ employer services in Mansfield, contact Wes Archer on 07584 684709 / 0115 827 1100 or visit www.ingeus.co.uk/employers.