Recruitment & Skills Growth at Fort Kinnaird

By Liam Smith
Centre Manager at Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh

30 Jun 2016

From parents supporting their families, to students making ends meet, the Fort Kinnaird Recruitment & Skills Centre is delivering real value to our local community – and helping retailers find the right people.

Since opening in 2013, the Recruitment & Skills Centre has helped 2,500 people secure work and develop their skills, and supported 150 employers. All 247 staff for the new Primark store were recruited through the Centre, and our annual Christmas Recruitment Fair continues to prove popular.

I’ve been bowled over by how well the Recruitment & Skills Centre has been received – by jobseekers, our local community, retailers and other employers, in fact by everyone! The Scottish Parliament is even looking at rolling out the model elsewhere.

Councillor Frank Ross, Edinburgh’s Economy Convener, said: “Expanding Edinburgh’s economy through the Strategy for Jobs is one of our top priorities and the Recruitment & Skills Centre at Fort Kinnaird is helping us do this. By focusing on the needs of local employers and matching the skills of local people, we’re boosting employability and tackling joblessness head on.”

Liz Barnett of Marks & Spencer commented: “Since working in partnership with the Recruitment & Skills Centre, we now have a smoother process, resulting in all our vacancies being filled swiftly and efficiently. The help with advertising to promote specific roles has been invaluable.”

Chris Rodden of Next said: “The Recruitment & Skills Centre offers us great support, including setting up interviews, use of meeting rooms and pre-screening of potential staff. This helps us fulfil our recruitment needs and offers potential employees a good step into retail.”

Here are some examples of people who’ve found work through the Recruitment & Skills Centre:

Andrew had previous experience as a store supervisor and applied to become supervisor at Fat Face, after seeing the opportunity advertised on the Recruitment & Skills Centre website. He impressed our team during his initial interview and we put him forward to the employer for consideration. Fat Face then interviewed Andrew and he began his career with them in May.

Ashleigh was working 12 hours per week at Fort Kinnaird and wanted a role with more hours. She regularly visited the Recruitment & Skills Centre and our Facebook page, so when a position was advertised at Marks & Spencer’s in July 2015, Ashleigh immediately applied. She secured a 22 hours per week contract with regular shifts, which has enhanced her work/life balance, benefiting both Ashleigh and her children.

Bryan is a student at Heriott Watt University and was delighted to get a part-time Sales Advisor role in Blacks. This is a great financial help while he works towards his BSc in Computer Science. Bryan applied through the Recruitment & Skills Centre website and then came in to meet our team. After a further interview with Blacks, Bryan joined the store team in May.

Dean had been unemployed since November 2015 and spotted the part-time Sales Assistant vacancy at JD Sports through the Recruitment & Skills Centre Facebook page. He met with our team, who helped him rework his CV and then put him forward for the position. This resulted in Dean gaining the part-time position, where he’s doing well and getting lots of extra hours, working and earning for around 35 hours a week.

Elaine has lots of retail experience and regularly visited the Recruitment & Skills Centre in the run up to the new Primark opening. When Elaine had difficulty with the online application at home, she came in for advice and to use our IT suite. We spotted an error in the application process, which we flagged to Primark and they immediately fixed it. Elaine’s application was successful and she’s now six months into her new career with Primark.

Kaitlyn had previously gained a Christmas position at Fort Kinnaird through the Recruitment & Skills Centre. When Mountain Warehouse advertised for a weekend Sales Assistant, Kaitlyn sent her CV straight to our team, who put her forward after matching her skills to the employer’s requirements. Kaitlyn began in April – good news for her finances as she prepares to start college in August.

Michelle is a graduate in creative arts who became unemployed in June 2014. Since then, she had been job hunting and volunteering at a small cinema and arts centre. Michelle applied for a job at Odeon Cinema in February and was invited to attend Odeon’s recruitment day at the Recruitment & Skills Centre. She’s been part of the Odeon team since March.

Nicole applied for a part-time role at Frankie & Benny’s while she’s studying therapeutic radiography at Queen Margaret University. The Recruitment & Skills Centre team put her CV forward after an initial review and she started the job in April.

Stephaniehad been looking for work for four months, after her Christmas contract ended. When she applied for a part-time Sales Associate vacancy at TK Maxx, the Recruitment & Skills Centre team put her forward following an initial review and she was chosen to join the TK Maxx team.

As the Recruitment & Skills Centre approaches its third birthday and Fort Kinnaird goes from strength to strength, I’m excited at what the future will hold!

A massive thank you to all our partners through Joined Up for Business, Edinburgh’s business support service, including City of Edinburgh Council, Business Gateway, Capital City Partnership, Jobcentre Plus, Skills Development Scotland, and Edinburgh Cyrenians, who take a leading role.

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