Isle of Wight Southern Co-op Helps People Back into Work

A Southern Co-op store on the Isle of Wight has partnered with a leading charity to help people back into work. The store on West Street in Ryde has employed three permanent members of staff after just two months of partnership with Shaw Trust.

The store manager in Ryde said: “We were approached a few months ago by Shaw Trust to ask if we would be willing to help clients get back into work via a work experience programme. We set the programme in operation and now we have three clients who are part of the store team on permanent contracts.

“The candidates started out in a work experience set up, where I provided them with tasks such as helping with deliveries and cleaning. Once the candidates moved over to permanent contracts they took on other jobs such as working on the tills. It’s worked really well and I am more than impressed with our new colleagues’ flexibility and positive attitude to their work; they are very hardworking.”

Finding candidates from a number of partnerships with other employment organisations such as Job Centre Plus, national charity Shaw Trust held initial conversations with candidates before Southern Co-op store management interviewed them.

Said Anita Singh, Employer Relationship Manager Hampshire & Isle of Wight for Shaw Trust said: “We are delighted to work with Southern Co-op. Working in true partnership with organisations to deliver high quality services is crucial to Shaw Trust’s mission of helping individuals to lead independent and inclusive lives. We work with innovative partners with proven high performance and a strong presence in the communities they work in. We chose Southern Co-op as an ideal partner and we are thrilled to see how successfully they have worked with our candidates. We look forward to continuing to work with them.”