Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak Visits Robinson Manufacturing
We were delighted to host a visit from Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to our RML West Midlands factory yesterday afternoon (7th July).
The visit coincided with the anniversary of the Chancellor’s announcement of a range of schemes to protect, support and create jobs across the UK and help people gain the skills they need to get into work through scheme such as the Kickstart programme.
Robinson Manufacturing (RML) took on board the Kickstart scheme hoping to identify some potential talent who may stay with the business as it continued to grow, as well as giving us a platform to raise the profile of careers in the construction supply chain.
After a private meeting with CEO Simon Kidney, the Chancellor was given a tour of our West Midlands factory by Head of Production Jamie Wilkins and Sarah Horden, Head of Design.
He also wanted to meet some of the young people who have been on the Kickstart programme at RML and chatted with three who have moved from the programme into full-time work with the company:
- Josh Richards, who works in Timber Frame Production is 24 and was doing agency work when he decided to apply for the Kickstart programme. Agency work is notoriously insecure financially; with no certainty of income from one hour to the next, and Josh has a little boy, turning 2 this year, to provide for. Josh enjoyed the programme, picked up the skills needed to do well in the business quickly and gets on well within the team.
- Hayley Owen, also 24, lost her job in retail to the pandemic last year, and was looking for a job, any job, to stay in employment. The Kickstart programme gave her the chance to try something completely different from retail. Hayley has loved every minute of her placement and has particularly enjoyed the teamwork and support from her new colleagues in RML’s Estimating and Design office. Learning administration skills has certainly been a change from retail, and she is looking forward to training as a joist designer.
- Beth Charmling graduated from university last year at 21 into the midst of the pandemic and applied unsuccessfully for hundreds of jobs before going on to Universal Credit. It was the DWP that suggested she try the Kickstart programme and she was quickly successful in getting placed at RML. She has very much enjoyed learning the ropes in the Customer Experience team, and is grateful for the opportunity to learn great communication skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
RML’s CEO Simon Kidney explained how the scheme has worked for the business: “We’ve been really pleased with the scheme and large number of the first cohort of Kickstarters have already accepted permanent full-time jobs with us. Some of the youngsters really are exceptional and we are looking forward to taking on another large group of young people through the programme very soon.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented:
“This time last year we faced a potential tidal wave of job losses with the UK on the brink of a financial crisis like no other in history. But we made a Plan for Jobs, we stuck to that plan and it’s working – supporting more than 14.5 million jobs to date and helping people in Wolverhampton, the West Midlands and across the UK gain the skills they need to get back into work.”