Learn Devon/Tesco partnership boosts employment

Posted on: 11 August 2015

Graduation eventSeventeen long-term unemployed people from Tavistock are celebrating after graduating from an intensive six-week training course to take on roles at a new Tesco store soon to open in the town.

Learn Devon joined forces with Tesco and JobCentre Plus earlier this year to help unemployed people in Tavistock get back into work.

Tesco committed to offering a number of roles, such as team support, counter work, stock control, checkout and warehouse vacancies, to locals who had been out of work for more than six months. It teamed up with Learn Devon and Job Centre Plus to provide pre-employment training.

Those completing the course all achieved a Level 1 or Level 2 Customer Service qualification and food-hygiene certificates. They were also assessed in maths, English and ICT skills, and will each be guaranteed 16-30 hours of employment each week.

The graduation event at Learn Devon’s Alexander Centre was attended by senior leaders from Tesco and local dignitaries, including the Deputy Mayor of Tavistock, Cllr Mandy Ewings, who presented the graduates with their certificates.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Learn Devon, said: “One of our priorities in Devon is to support people who are out of work by providing opportunities for them to boost their employability skills, so I am pleased that Learn Devon has been involved in helping Tesco recruit in Tavistock.

“This partnership project has given valuable jobs to local people who have been out of work for some time, which is excellent news. I wish all of the graduates every success as they begin their new jobs soon.”

One of the graduates, Caroline Quin, who lives in Tavistock, said: “I’m really excited. It feels great to be in regular employment and I’m looking forward to engaging with our customers too.

“It’s brilliant to have been here from the start too, before the store opens. I’ve already met lots of other colleagues who I’ll be working with and it feels like I’m part of a team. I like that – the sense of being part of a team.”

Pictured: Deputy Mayor of Tavistock, Cllr Mandy Ewings, with the graduates, Learn Devon tutors and representatives from Tesco