Commitment and dedication have been rewarded with full-time jobs for three young people first given work placements under a government support scheme called Kickstart.
Two of them – Abdul Abdallah and Matthew Mills, both from Oldham - will be based in Oldham while the third – Richard Weston, from Beighton - is based at our trade counter and warehouse in Sheffield.
All three started work placements with us under the government’s Kickstart scheme, which provides funding to support placements for 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of unemployment but keen to gain experience, skills and an income.
Dan Mounsey, our Marketing and Business Development Director, said: “This is three solid investments in youth.
“We were impressed by the commitment and dedication shown by Abdul, Matthew and Richard. We’ve seen them develop with the experience we’ve been able to give them to the point that we wanted to offer them jobs.”
Following the success of the latest placements, we are now applying to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to take six more young people under the Kickstart scheme – four at Oldham and two at Sheffield.
Matthew, aged 23 from Alt, who works in order processing, said: “I was so glad when I heard I was being kept on. Everyone wants to be in a job they are happy with and working in a company like this is great. Once you are here, it feels like a family, you can talk to anybody, and anybody will help you when you need it.
“I think the Kickstart scheme is a great idea. It’s helping young people find work and get in to the right place. It gives you valuable experience.”
And Abdul, aged 21 from Hathershaw, who is working in our doors plant, said: “HPP’s given me something that other jobs haven’t. I’m not just a number, I am part of something. It felt like such an achievement when I was told I was being kept on. It’s a step up.
“Kickstart is a great opportunity for people like me, especially my age. I was looking for jobs but I wasn’t getting any luck and then this opportunity came along and I am grateful for where I am.”
His thoughts were echoed by Richard, who said: “I felt very relieved when I was told I was being kept on. It’s definitely a good place to work – I’ve not met one bad person.
“The Kickstart scheme is a good thing. I was struggling to find something before I got this opportunity. I’d been looking for months.”
This is all part of our commitment to skills and training at all levels having just enrolled our latest apprentice on a City and Guilds Level 2 and 3 course in maintenance engineering.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Burke, from Bardsley, is completing his apprenticeship through the Oldham Training Centre, on Lees Road, where he’s studying on day-release for the next three-and-a-half years.
He’s our second employee currently doing an apprenticeship along with Ellie McCartney, who is taking a Level 3 NVQ in business administration, attending Oldham College once a month.
Our other activities with young people in mind have included mock interviews for school-leavers, attending regional jobs fairs to raise awareness of furniture industry careers, supporting a state-of-the-art youth centre in Oldham and hosting educational visits.