Bolton Council, Bolton College and Job Centre Plus have worked together to provide jobs for local residents at a new supermarket opening in Bolton town centre.
Wayne Walker Meats, which is based in Stoke on Trent, is opening a new meat supermarket on Bradshawgate in May 2013.
The company approached Bolton council asking for assistance with recruiting local employees and the council introduced them to the Team Bolton Partnership - a new partnership arrangement between Bolton Council, Job Centre Plus, Bolton College, Bolton Work Based Learning Provider Network, University of Bolton, Bolton at Home and Work Programme providers, who all work together to improve skills and get people into employment.
The Team Bolton Partnership worked with Wayne Walker Meats to put on an open day. Following the open day, 44 candidates were sent on a 3 day pre-employment training course and then all given interviews. 10 of these have now been offered permanent jobs with the company. Following the store opening in May, the company expects to have further jobs on offer and has agreed that these will also be ringfenced for the other 34 candidates who attended the training course.
Councillor Nick Peel, Executive Cabinet Member for Environment, Regulatory Services and Skills said: “This was the first time that the council, college and Job Centre had worked together in this type of partnership arrangement and we are absolutely delighted that 10 local people have been offered jobs, with the majority of these being long-term unemployed people. The company was also so pleased with the other candidates they employed that they have promised to offer them any other jobs in the future. We hope that the Team Bolton partnership approach will allow us to work with local residents to improve their skills and qualifications and ultimately provide more jobs in the future.”
Wayne Walker, CEO of Wayne Walker Meats said: “We are really pleased with the help which we received from the Team Bolton Partnership. We were delighted with the quality of the candidates which they put forward and pleased to be able to offer jobs to 10 of them, with hopefully more jobs on offer for the others after the store opens.”
Jon Lomas, Business, Enterprise and Development Manager at Bolton College, said: “We worked very closely with Wayne Walker Meats to design a programme that would enable people to develop the specific skills required for a role within the food retail sector.
“The success rate has been incredible, with a number of people securing full-time positions. It has also been a valuable experience for the other participants, who received training that will provide them with the skills needed to pursue other roles in the sector. We look forward to building on this success and developing similar programmes within a variety of industries, which will provide opportunities for the long-term unemployed in Bolton.”
Julie Wills, Account Manager from Job Centre Plus said: “The Team Bolton partnership has enabled us to support local unemployed people into work and to provide a recruitment service tailored to meet the needs of the employer.
“We are really pleased with the success of the Wayne Walker recruitment and look forward to providing on-going support to the company.”
The Team Bolton Partnership will continue to work with local employers to encourage them to sign a pledge to work with the partnership on vacancies, recruitment, apprenticeships, mentoring, working with schools and people with disabilities, to raise aspirations, develop skills and ultimately provide employment.