Damian Collins MP praises the "unsung heroes of falling unemployment" in Folkestone

On Friday 14 November local MP Damian Collins and Deputy Mayor Cllr. Emily Arnold joined staff, customers and local employers to celebrate local Work Programme provider Kennedy Scott’s 25th anniversary.

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

He said: “the team at Kennedy Scott are the unsung heroes of falling unemployment in our town.

“Thanks in no small part the dedication and commitment of Kennedy Scott staff, hundreds of people Folkestone have been helped along the difficult journey from unemployment to work.

"Under this government we’ve seen the number of unemployed claimants in Folkestone and Hythe fall by 40% since May 2010.

“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 Folkestone, 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 serious 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.”

Damian Collins MP was given a tour of Kennedy Scott’s Shearway Business Park 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, Deputy Mayor and Paul Andrews, of Kent Business Radio, presented a series of awards at the packed event.

Damian Collins MP gave Eastcliff resident Beverly an award for Customer Achievement, after she overcame a serious illness that had ended her thirty-four year career as a nurse to go on to secure work as a Senior Sexual Healthcare Assistant at Folkestone Healthcare Centre.

Beverly said: “My illness set me back such a long way and had a huge impact on my life. I thought I might never work again, but Kennedy Scott made me believe in myself again, helped me develop new skills and supported me as I looked for work. I am so happy that I can continue to work in the NHS, which has always been my passion."

Kent entrepreneur and radio personality Paul Andrews presented local market research company Facts International with a Supportive Employer Award after the company hired 25 Work Programme referees in just three months.

Deputy Mayor of Folkestone, Cllr Emily Arnold presented Amy Pettifer with an Staff Dedication and Progression award. Amy started with Kennedy Scott as an Employment Consultant last April and developed an innovative hot-desking system for specialist external providers making Kennedy Scott Folkestone a one-stop-shop for an even wider range of pre-employment support. The model has since been adopted across Kent and Amy has recently been promoted.

Amy said: “Kennedy Scott is a fantastic company to work for. We put our customers first and take so much pleasure in seeing the difference we can make to them each day. But Kennedy Scott invests in its own staff too and is always open to our ideas of how to improve best practice.”