In February, Seetec Pluss received a referral from our 3P’s partner, Reed in Partnership, to support the opening of a number of new stores for a business called OneBelow.
Previously known as Pound World, OneBelow had recently changed ownership and was going through a re-branding and re-opening exercise creating lots of job opportunities.
We’d been given the heads up about a store opening in Southampton, however, all seemed to go very quiet.
Then one Monday morning in mid-February, OneBelow contacted our Employer Services team and asked if they could interview for 20 vacancies in our premises on the Thursday and Friday of the same week.
Step into retail…
The Seetec Pluss Southampton team immediately sprang into action with their usual ‘can do’ attitude. We contacted participants and quickly put together a ‘Step into Retail’ customer services training course.
More than 25 customers attended the training on Tuesday and Wednesday, with an additional 15 participants expressing an interest in the 20 vacancies on offer.
By the Wednesday evening, we were able to provide OneBelow with 40 candidates ready to apply for their vacancies. We booked participants into time slots for the Thursday and Friday recruitment process. Premises and facilities were arranged for interviews.
15 participants are now in work.
During the two days of interviews, the Southampton team were on hand to further prepare and support participants.
By the end of the interviews, 15 participants were offered jobs, with an additional five participants identified as reserve candidates.
Delighted with their 15 new employees…
With the store opening in March, the 15 successful participants started training and merchandising on the 2nd March. On day one, all 15 successful candidates arrived early and well-presented for work.
The Southampton Change Coaches attended the Southampton store in the first week and offered fantastic support and guidance to participants and OneBelow throughout the entire process.
The 15 new employees are enjoying their new job and have said how much working has made a difference to their lives.
Chris, one of the participants said, "I didn’t think the programme would get me a job as I have been out of work for over seven years now, so I am surprised. I have built myself up over time, starting with volunteering for just one hour a week so this is a giant leap for me and it feels surreal at the moment - but I am really happy".
Mark added "I have been unemployed for 5 years now, so I am really excited about working and having a job which means I can meet new people and earn money. It has changed my life".
Cameron said "It's good because I'm not bored anymore and I’ve made some new friends which is great".
And Daniel added "Thank you so much! It feels great to be working because I was sick of being unemployed and its been really nice to have been part of it from the very beginning. Day one the store was completely empty and now it is buzzing, so to see all our hard work come together has been great".
A strong relationship has been established with the new store manager who has told the Southampton team that they will be his first point of call for future recruitment. They are delighted with their new employees.
For Lyndsey, another of the participants, it has also changed her life. She said, "I have been unemployed for many many years so I'm happy to be working, it gets me out of the house and earning money which is great. I've also made a couple of friends already".
We are now working with OneBelow nationally to help them recruit for new store openings across the country.
What a fantastic result!
The Work and Health programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund