A project supporting people to work in the retail sector proved an instant success with 100% of the participants – who are recruited from Jobcentres – either finding work or work experience.
Of the 15 who took the Smart Savings Retail course in Liskeard, 13 have been offered jobs at the new Aldi store in town and two others are starting work experience.
Smart Savings Retail was originally piloted with support from ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence via Cornwall Works 50+.
Those original courses led to more than half the participants finding employment and going into voluntary work. That high success rate meant that 20 more courses across Devon and Cornwall are now receiving mainstream funding through Jobcentre Plus with investment from the District Manager’s Flexible Support Fund.
Jane Jiwa, project director for Smart Savings, supported Liskeard Jobcentre to assess the right candidates for Aldi’s new store vacancies by providing a clear picture of the type of people Aldi wanted to recruit, and prepared all candidates for their group interview. A retail course was then tailored to embed Aldi’s own training using their store assistant workbook and PLU codes.
Smart Savings retail courses have already been delivered in Redruth, Penzance, Newquay, St Austell, Liskeard, Torquay, and Barnstaple. More courses are due to be held in Truro, Penryn, Liskeard, Bodmin, Launceston, Bude, Barnstaple, Plymouth, Torquay and Exeter. Anyone who is out of work and claiming benefits is eligible for the four-day courses.