HBF’s Kickstart Gateway has seen many positives for employers and individuals having overcome challenges along the way. With over 30 home builders and supply chain organisations getting involved in the scheme, one home builder, Countryside, shares their experiences and tips for those considering getting involved.
Countryside took part in Kickstart to enhance its alternative talent pools, further supporting local communities and aiding social mobility. As a business, it created three new semiskilled operative roles across its timber frame factories, working on a shift pattern. These roles include some manual lifting and a mix of machine operation and the use of nail guns. Countryside says recruitment to the scheme has at times been testing, however, it has built a strong relationship with the local Job Centre Plus to aid a smooth recruitment process. As a business, it's also adapted its working hours to allow greater flexibility and alignment with access to the factory from public transport.
One of the operatives, Gareth, joined the Warrington factory in April 2021, and has been developing further each day, immersing himself into everything he’s been involved in. He has also enrolled through online employability training, provided by Pathway CTM, part of the support offered by HBF. Gareth has learned how to manufacture a timber frame panel and understands the quality of the end product that is required.
Commenting on his role, Gareth says, “Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming since I started and the fact that my supervisor and managers are invested in my progress is great motivation. I have found this experience interesting and would love the opportunity to eventually work here full-time. I hope I can continue to make a great impression and strive to keep up the good work. I’d like to thank everyone for the opportunity to work at Countryside and I am grateful for everyone taking me under their wing and making my time here educational and enjoyable.”