The bell keeps ringing at Kennedy Scott

Teresa Shaw, Business Manager, Maidstone and Folkestone

In our offices we celebrate every time one of our Work Programme customers gets a job by ringing a bell and applauding their success. These are genuine moments of pride and joy and sum up what working at Kennedy Scott is all about.

Our approach works because we treat all our customers as individuals. When someone is referred to us we spend one-on-one time with them, getting to know what makes them tick, identifying their barriers to work, and working out how to empower them to help themselves.

At Kennedy Scott we offer a wide range of training and support, utilising the experience and skills of our staff team or referring customers to specialist partner organisations for tailored help.

Customers often come to us feeling as if they’ve been left on a rubbish pile. They leave with more confidence and skills, and able to provide for their family once again. Often there is a visible light bulb moment when self-belief returns - that is so rewarding to see.

Some of our customers have previously spent a long time in employment, but after losing their job through redundancy, they need help to re-engage with a job markets that’s very different to what existed when they last applied for work. We can provide help to identify transferable skills, potential job opportunities and CV and application assistance.

Other customers have more complex needs – they may have got in with the wrong crowd at school, be experiencing family difficulties, have drug or alcohol problems or just have grown up with benefit claiming as a normality of life. For these customers we find that the key is finding their individual aspirations and helping them to recognise their potential.

We also have a number of ESA (Employment Support Allowance) claimants, who want to work, but whose illness may be hiding a lack of confidence. We work with these customers to identify accomplishments and establish a sense of self belief that gives them the all-important confidence to get back to appropriate work.

At Kennedy Scott Maidstone we have developed very good relationship with local employers including The Range and Travis Perkins to offer work trials and placements, many of which lead to full time employment. Our long standing employer relationships allow us to place the right candidates with the right jobs, which inevitably leads to more successful sustained employment outcomes.

One of the strengths of the Work Programme is that it doesn’t just end when a customer finds work, we are able to offer continuous support once a customer is in employment, helping them adjust to their new way of life and ensuring that they are still able to collect any benefits they are entitled to, to ensure that staying in work really pays.

Targets are important, but what motivates us is seeing people going through their own journeys. We get a real buzz from getting people into sustainable work because we see first-hand, every day, the enormous difference this can make.