Canterbury centre celebrates 25 years getting unemployed people into work

By the Canterbury Times

Dozens of people, including the city’s MP and Lord Mayor, gathered on Friday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a company dedicated to getting Canterbury’s unemployed back into work.

Mr Brazier said the centre provided “an essential service”, and credited the government for helping reduce unemployment:

“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.”

Kennedy Scott operates across the UK, mainly working with jobcentres to provide people with skills and training to find jobs.

Unemployment in Canterbury has been going down since 2010, when the district recorded a sharp rise in the number of unemployed. According to the Kent County Council, in the year leading up to 2014, unemployment fell by 23%. According to figures quoted by Mr Brazier, last year saw another 455 more people in work across Canterbury.

“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.”

Many of the people who get help Kennedy Scott have long-standing issues which some would say makes them unemployable. One of these is Robert Wilson-Haffenden, who has severe learning difficulties. Thanks to Kennedy Scott, he has found permanent employment at Canterbury’s Poundland.

On Friday, Robert was presented with an award for Customer Achievement by Mr Brazier.

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.”