Southern Co-op store employs staff via charity link up

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A Southern Co-operative store has linked with charity Shaw Trust to help people back into work.

The store in West Street, Ryde, on the Isle of Wight has employed three permanent staff members after just two months of the partnership.

Shaw Trust sounded out potential candidates before the store’s management interviewed them.

The charity identified them through partnerships with other employment organisations, such as Job Centre Plus.

The new staff members began under a work experience arrangement where they were charged with tasks such as helping with deliveries and cleaning.

They have now taken on other jobs, including working on the tills.

A spokesperson for Southern Co-op said: “Our store on West Street in Ryde was approached a few months ago by Shaw Trust to ask if they would be willing to help clients get back into work via a work experience programme.

“The store manager set the programme in operation and now they have three clients who are part of the store team on permanent contracts.

“The candidates started out helping with store deliveries and cleaning. Once they had moved to permanent contracts, they took on other tasks including serving on the tills.

“The scheme had worked really well and Southern Co-op was impressed with the new employees’ flexibility and positive, hardworking attitude to their work.”

Anita Singh, employer relationship manager at Hampshire & Isle of Wight for Shaw Trust, said, the charity chose the co-op as “an ideal partner” and it looked forward to continuing to work with the society.

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