Ashford College has recently begun working with Tesco and Ashford JobCentre Plus on a scheme to help jobseekers find work. The college worked with the supermarket chain to run a programme as part of the Movement to Work initiative, a voluntary collaboration of UK employers committed to tackling unemployment through the provision of high quality work experience and vocational training opportunities for people that are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
JobCentre Plus selected the four participants from the local area for the scheme, which took place over a two-week period and focused on customer service, business awareness and effective communication. The learners also received interview practice with the National Careers Service to prepare them for guaranteed interviews with Tesco for their Christmas temp-to-permanent vacant positions.
The first week saw the participants attending training at the new state-of-the-art Ashford College campus in Elwick Road with the college’s Employability/Adult Skills team. During their second week, they undertook work experience at one of two local Tesco stores.
One learner commented: “I’ve found the course to be extremely helpful in many aspects, in particular with confidence-building, and found my tutor Jane to be extremely approachable, friendly and very helpful.”
Employability Tutor, Jane Nott, said: “Although the unemployment rate in Ashford is lower than the national average, this is still a persistent UK-wide socio-economic problem that we as a college can’t afford to ignore and are committed to addressing.
“Our previous Movement to Work schemes with other employers have been hugely transformative for some participants and the new college site in the town centre, near to good transport links, ultimately makes access to training much easier for candidates.”