Forth Blinds has been trading since 2015 and now employs 8 people. Like most small businesses, recruitment for additional team members begins when there is an immediate need for the role to be filled. This often meant a hastily arranged interview and selection process. Furthermore, because the person was needed straight away he/she had to have a good knowledge of fitting blinds in order to be able to hit the ground running. Finding someone with these skills was extremely difficult.
In order to be proactive and ahead of the game, Forth Blinds made a conscious decision to ‘recruit before needed’. The cost implications here are significant so it was a case of how best to afford this. Scottish Government initiatives to create jobs for young people seemed the way forward.
East Lothian Works were contacted, and several options were available to the company. The Young Persons Guarantee (YPG) scheme was the most appropriate and Forth Blinds applied for and were granted funding for an Assistant Blind Installer. The whole process was simple and uncomplicated.
Six weeks later Andrew, 17 years old, joined the business. A simple training plan was drawn up and he spent the first week having instructional and theoretical training in the office. This had never been done previously so Andrew was well prepared for when he went out with the experienced installers. Good quality fitting tools were bought with the funding given. Seven months into the programme Andrew’s customer service skills are superb and his confidence and maturity have risen beyond recognition.
“I am enjoying my time at Forth Blinds and feel I am gaining great experience and knowledge. I like that every day is different, and I look forward to learning more.” – Andrew.
I encourage any business owner wanting to grow and develop their organization to contact East Lothian Works. Not only do Forth Blinds have a superbly trained installer on board but this has now freed up one of the other experienced installers to be trained in measuring and surveying – another major step forward for the company. The YPG scheme will be instrumental in Forth Blinds meeting its long-term goals and objectives.
Phil O’Brien, Director, Forth Blinds Ltd