Job Box points Thomas in new employment direction
Thomas Richardson is heading in the right employment direction thanks to the support he’s received from Telford Job Box.
The 21-year-old is now working for one of the UK’s fastest growing retailers B&M through the Kickstart programme after being unemployed for over a year.
Thomas, of Telford, was starting to give up hope and felt as though he was going round in circles looking for work and opportunities.
He was becoming more and more overwhelmed and felt under pressure to find a new role.
But when he was referred to Telford Youth Hub, part of Telford & Wrekin Council’s wider Job Box service, by Jobcentre Plus things began to change for the better.
When he first met Job Box Mentor Nuala Addison he was apprehensive and wasn’t really open to further support.
However, Nuala was able to build his confidence, talk through his situation and break down some of the barriers which were hindering him.
Initially working alongside Jobcentre Plus, Nuala worked with Thomas to put together an action plan.
After looking at a range of options, Thomas started to explore Kickstart – a government scheme to support those at risk of long term unemployment which matches young people with local employers for six month placements.
He is now enjoying working as a Replenishment Assistant at B&M on The Forge Retail Park in Telford building his skills and experience.
Thomas said: “I worked on a contract basis before the pandemic started in the hospitality sector but I was furloughed in 2020 and then made redundant later last year.
“I was keen to continue with my studies while I was out of work so I completed a Level 2 Functional Skills Maths qualification.
“As time went on though, being out of work was affecting me personally and I felt very uncertain about finding something else.
“I wanted to get experience but because of the length of time I’d been out of work I felt as though I was getting into a bit of a rut and I’d lost confidence.
“I was a bit disappointed if I’m honest as I didn’t feel I was getting anywhere but luckily I found the Youth Hub and Job Box which have really supported me.”
To help Thomas secure a Kickstart placement, Nuala and the team supported him with his interview preparation for B&M.
She also helped him plan his route to and from his place of work on The Forge Retail Park and familiarise him with the local area.
Thomas said: “Nuala and the Job Box team really have gone the extra mile for me and I can’t thank them enough for the support I’ve had.
“I was given an interview with B&M at short notice but I was supported with my interview preparation and I was as prepared as I could be going into it which is I’m sure why I was offered the role.
“Now I’m starting to feel more independent, confident about my surroundings and my daily work routine.
“Working at B&M is definitely the start of a new journey for me and even though initially it’s only a six month programme, who knows where it might lead.
"My advice to other people who are considering Kickstart is even if it isn’t an area of work you’d thought about before or your dream job, if it gives you valuable workplace experience, new skills and something to build on for the future then you should go for it.”
Telford Youth Hub, based at Southwater One in Telford town centre, is a one-stop shop for 16-24 year olds which helps them to find new education, training or employment opportunities, while the Telford Job Box helps people of all ages across the Telford and Wrekin borough to find employment.
Job Box Mentor Nuala Addison said: “We are really pleased that Thomas is enjoying his Kickstart programme with B&M.
“Although initially Thomas found barriers to finding new employment, by working closely with him to overcome these and offering as much support and guidance as we can, he now has a new focus for the future and is back on the employment pathway.”
You can find out more about the Telford Youth Hub and The Job Box here.