Brazier hails Kennedy Scott's record of success in Canterbury unemployment turnaround

On Friday 6 February 2015 Canterbury MP Julian Brazier and the Lord Mayor of Canterbury Cllr Ann Taylor joined staff, customers and employers to celebrate local Work Programme provider Kennedy Scott’s 25th anniversary.

Brazier praised the work of Kennedy Scott staff in Canterbury congratulating the company, which provides specialist training and support to help the long term unemployed, on their “25 year record of success."

He said: “Kennedy Scott provide an essential service in our community. I have seen first-hand what an enormous difference the Work Programme is making to people struggling to find a job here in Canterbury.

“Unemployment in Canterbury has fallen 38.5% in the last year. That’s 455 more people off benefits and into work.

“Falling unemployment is a reflection of the success of the Government’s long term economic plan and the hard work of local people and businesses who are creating growth and opportunity in our area.”

Founder and Chief Executive of Kennedy Scott, Teresa Scott said:

“This is a rare opportunity to recognise our dedicated and passionate staff team in Canterbury, as well as our many customer success stories.

"Many of our customers face significant challenges as they seek to get back to work - some have health problems, others are long term unemployed or have spent time in prison. They need the kind of individualised holistic support Kennedy Scott can offer.

"Getting a job takes perseverance and courage and we are very proud of every person we have helped to turn their lives around.”

Julian Brazier MP and the Lord Mayor was given a tour of Kennedy Scott’s North Lane based centre before joining the reception. He met with current customers as they looked for work and spoke with former customers who had been helped into jobs through the Work Programme.

The MP and Lord Mayor presented a series of awards at the well-attended event.

Former ESA claimant Robert was given an award for Customer Achievement.

Due to severe learning difficulties, Robert had struggled to get a job. Prior to his referral to Kennedy Scott, his only work experience had been a paper round.

Kennedy Scott helped Robert secure a work placement with Poundland, where he had the opportunity to prove his determination to work and impress managers with his extraordinary work ethic. He has since been offered permanent work at the Canterbury store.

On receiving the award Old Dover Road resident Robert said: “Being unemployed was lonely, financially difficult and upsetting.

"Kennedy Scott helped me learn how to get a job, with interview workshops and support during the process of looking for work.

“Getting a job has given me more confidence and makes me happy.”

Presenting the award Brazier said: “Robert’s story is a remarkable example of the turnaround that is possible when someone with complex barriers to employment receives the right kind of help to get back to work. I congratulate Robert on winning Kennedy Scott’s Customer Award and wish him all the best for his future.”

Value retailer Poundland was presented with a Supportive Employer Award for the company’s commitment to supporting Kennedy Scott customers with learning difficulties through frequent provision of work placements, training and employment opportunities.

Teresa Scott said: “It is not often that you will find an employer that, regardless of the demands of their business, demonstrates such patience and support towards hard to help individuals who have often been out of work for very long periods of time.”

Kennedy Scott Employment Consultant Lizzie Lee was awarded a Staff Dedication award for her provision of support and mentoring to colleagues, boosting the overall performance of the centre.