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Developing better futures through AEB

Posted by: esther ogunsanwo

After 18 months of remote engagement due to the pandemic, we are delighted to be back in the training room – and with one of the UK’s fastest-growing retailers!

Babington and B&M have joined forces to develop better futures for new recruits through a unique skilling programme designed to connect the retailer with individuals looking for work in key geographies across the UK.

The partnership aims to help individuals gain entry to a career with B&M by utilising Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding, and has been piloted in Leicester with great success.

“It has been our pleasure to partner with B&M”, says Jennifer Moseley, Learning Coordinator from Babington, “we’ve been supporting them on a recruitment drive to find and appoint retail assistants for their brand-new Leicester store. The work we’re doing gives local people the opportunity to kick start their careers, and we’ve seen great uptake and success already.”

Using a Sector Work Academy Programme (SWAP) format, candidates spent two weeks face to face with a Babington employability tutor at our training centre in Leicester. Candidates received support and guidance to achieve a Level 2 Customer Service Qualification; guidance to write and refine their CVs; support with job application submissions, and help to prepare for interviews to build their confidence for getting back into working life.

Babington B&M Adult Education Budget

Tyler, Store Manager from B&M Leicester said: “It has been great to have the opportunity to work with the Babington team who have helped me with the recruitment for our new store in Leicester. Paula and her team were able to support our recruitment drive by finding some great applicants looking to either start or develop a career in the retail sector. The support they offered me by working with applicants beforehand and providing them with great customer service and retail knowledge led to me having the advantage of recruiting some great people to our new team. I look forward to continuing the relationship so we can keep offering applicants the chance to join our growing business”.

Everyone who attended these sessions achieved their Level 2 Customer Services qualification and nine candidates were successful during the interview process, secured positions, and are now part B&M Retail team. A further two candidates have also succeeded in interviews and will be starting Customer Service roles.

As a team we are proud of the success we’ve experienced since returning to face-to-face delivery, and that we can continue to develop better futures through local community engagement. We are very much looking forward to doing our shopping at the new B&M store where we will be served by familiar faces with excellent customer service skills!

To showcase our passion and determination to provide an exceptional customer experience for all, we thought we’d let our learners speak for us, here is what they had to say about their experience:

“My expectations were met because the content was thorough, and the teaching was great” – ST

“I am more knowledgeable about customer service roles and gained a Level Two Certificate, what an achievement!”- AP

“The support I received was amazing, I was very shy but have been brought out of my shell. I also gained a lot of confidence in the work field. My expectations have been met and more.” – KT

“I enjoyed the course; it gave me back the confidence I needed because of not being in a job for almost nine years. The support I received from the tutor at Babington was amazing. He explained the work step by step, the course was informative and the help you receive goes above and beyond” – SK

“I loved the course and all the people, we are all different personalities and ages, I was surprised how well we all got on. Tutors are very patient, friendly and welcoming and the learning was very interesting and takes away from the stress of interview nerves.” – NT

“It was very good, I enjoyed helping others. I needed help towards getting a job and this has helped a lot” – KS

“The course got me back into a routine and using my brain again, so I was ready to work. I am happy because I got a job! I think the course and support were great, as they have found me a job and taught me interview techniques, thanks to Bally and Jen.” – SM

After the success of our first recruitment opportunity, we are beginning our second cohort with B&M, watch this space for more success stories as we continue Developing Better Futures at Babington!

If you’d like to find out more about SWAPs or our wider Employability offerings, click here.

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