Craig is 35 and lives in East Leeds. He works in despatch in the warehouse at the British Heart Foundation online sales hub.
Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.
“The team I work with is great. Everything is amazing. I am settling in and the training is fantastic. It’s brilliant. I have done 95 items so far today – I think they are going to need a bigger warehouse!
“I would say that I am hard working, have good determination and concentration.
“I was out of work for a year before I came to Pluss. I really didn’t like being out of work. I prefer to be busy. I enjoy getting out every day, getting a foot in the door.
“Now I really enjoy what I am doing. It is good to have money. Pluss is fantastic. They are there when I need them and I get very good support.”
Andy Shaw, Online Sales Supervisor
“Craig came to us on an Options traineeship.
“He is responsible for picking items and invoices. He is superfast, almost superhuman. He has excellent time keeping and reliability. He really is brilliant and we will definitely keep him on. He loves it. On the social side, he fits in really well too. We go out every few weeks.
“Craig is very productive and will always tell me how many items he has done each day – I don’t need to wait for the warehouse sheet. He loves to be competitive with both himself and others but in a really positive way. There is always a great atmosphere around Craig.”
The online sales hub deals with 750 shops nationwide and sells anything valuable, rare or unique. They have 54 paid staff and 13 volunteers. They have had five employees, five trainees and three volunteers from Pluss.
“We are slightly different to the shops as we have paid staff, and it is a faster-paced and commercially orientated environment.
“We have a varied range of tasks – listing, admin, customer service, research, photography, warehouse picking, IT, receiving and loading vehicles, booking in an the internal system – all modern relevant skills.
“We’ve had excellent support from Pluss. They know all about our business and what people would suit the job. The quality of people they have given us has been great and they are all really keen to work. We use the traineeship as a proper induction which gets each person ready for the job and they can step straight into it. Pluss stay in contact, visit and check that there is a smooth transition from the traineeship into becoming a paid employee.
“Doing it this way is a lot better than interview. We get to know each individuals work ethic, attitude and what they’re like as people. At interview an individual might say the right thing but there is nothing better than getting to know someone and seeing how they work. This is the first partnership of this kind that we have had and it’s worked really well. For me if the person is able and capable of doing the job, then that’s the most important thing.”