Joshua and Ashley back in work thanks to Tesco partnership

Two long-term unemployed men from Norwich, Joshua Palmer (pictured left) and Ashley Fearn (pictured right), have recently secured full-time roles and are looking forward to bright careers with Tesco Extra Norwich after completing our recent ‘Tesco Movement to Work’ skills course. Of nine learners on the course, six are now in full-time work (four with Tesco, two with other high street stores).

Working Links recently formed a unique working relationship with Tesco, helping them to recruit for customer service positions across the country. A training plan was designed by our Working Links Skills division, providing unemployed learners with the skills needed to match recruitment requirements for Tesco customer service roles. Working Links provided the training in over 20 locations across the country.  

The scheme aimed to move unemployed people aged 19–24 into work. Joshua had been unemployed for nearly four years before enrolling on the course causing him to develop low self-esteem. Ashley had previously worked in Argos but after being made redundant spent the last year unemployed. Both men are in their 20s.

The course, taught by North East based skills tutor Jasmine Hewitt (pictured centre), consisted of five days classroom tuition in the fundamentals of customer service. The course was customised to ensure learners were provided with skills to work for Tesco specifically, using Tesco resources and Tesco role play activities to tailor their learning. This was followed by a one week work placement within a Tesco store. Upon successful completion of the course learners were forwarded to interview for live vacancies with Tesco. Learners were also awarded the City & Guilds Level 1 Award for Customer Service.

Ashley said: “The course helped me access employment in a way I’ve never experienced before because of the training beforehand. I liked how relaxed the course was, because it wasn’t strict like school. Everyone was very understanding. If I needed any help or had a problem, the time and support was there.”

Joshua said: “It gave me the opportunity to work in an industry I was keen to enter. I worked alongside some light-hearted people. Jasmine was easy going and supported me throughout.”

Our support didn’t end once the learners were in employment. Jasmine continues to stay in touch with Joshua and Ashley, providing help and advice whenever needed.  

Jasmine said: “Returning back to the store, it was wonderful to see Josh and Ash in their uniforms. I was very proud of them and the progress they’d made.

“We’ve seen success across the UK for the ‘Tesco Movement to Work’ initiative, which I believe is a reflection of how dedicated, passionate and hardworking our team is.”

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