Muntons, one of the country’s leading suppliers of brewing and distilling malts and malted ingredients, has joined forces with the Department for Work and Pensions, as a Kickstart Scheme Employer.
The scheme supports 16 to 24-year-olds who've been in long-term unemployment and are ordinarily reliant on Universal Credit, gain valuable work experience. Working 25 hours a week, they receive skills training while earning at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group.
Muntons' cohort of five new team members joined its Flamborough Maltings in Bridlington in May. Joining the 100-year business are: Jonathan Cocking, Production Cleaner; Jack Hewitson Engineering Storeman; Robbie McLoone, COVID Security Operator; Conar Miles, Production Cleaner; and Jamie Milner, COVID Security Operator.
Jack had been unemployed since he graduated from the Scarborough University Technical College in 2020, with qualifications in manufacturing engineering. Working with his Job Centre Plus Work Coach, they introduced him to the vacancies that Muntons offered. “I was excited when I saw the roles and I actually applied for one of the other positions. However, Muntons gave me some positive feedback and offered me the Engineering Storeman role. Which, thinking about it, is better suited to my qualifications and career plans.
“I was nervous on my first day Muntons, but everybody has made me feel comfortable and part of the team. They’re all helping me get a better understanding of the business and the malt industry. I’m making some wonderful friendships, being well looked after and feeling part of the team."
“I’d definitely recommend the Kickstart Scheme to those who are in the position I was in. I'm so excited each day to clock onto my shift and learn new skills. It’s brilliant working for an international company right on our doorstep in Bridlington.”
Jamie's a COVID Security Operator and was unemployed for a year. “This last year was tough, and it’s hard to find a job when you haven’t got the hands-on experience or there are more people searching for jobs than there are the vacancies.
"Working in an office doesn’t appeal to me; the role excited me because I like the idea of a physical job in a factory and being more hands-on.
“Everybody I talk to here has been incredibly supportive and even though I’ve only been here a few weeks, I feel like I’m settling in well. I’m enjoying myself and glad to be working again.”
Jamie continues: “Each week, we get together and take part in the employability course, which sets a good foundation for the next step of the scheme of job hunting. We don’t like to think about it because we’re enjoying our time here, but everybody needs to understand how to use LinkedIn, keep our CVs updated and get used to the experience of applying for new roles. It’s a great help.”
Also introduced to the Kickstart Scheme by his Job Centre Plus Work Coach, was Conar, who'd been out of work for a year following an injury. Having completed his plumbing and motor vehicle qualifications at college, he was keen to use some of those transferable skills at Muntons and joined as a COVID Security Operator. “I’m excited to come to the site; it doesn’t feel like I’m at work because I’m enjoying myself. Everybody’s great to work with and so supportive.
“On Fridays, we are learning skills for life. Things like how to behave in the workplace, keep our CVs updated and how to handle interviews may sound basic, but when you haven’t got the experience, it’s a great help to be guided through these things.
“I’d love to stay at Muntons once the programme ends. It has a great reputation of being a place you can work for life, and it’s great I’ve got this opportunity to show what I’m capable of.”
Conar says he’d recommend the Kickstart Scheme to those who are in a similar position as he was: “Having been out of work for so long, the Scheme is a great way to ease people like me back into work after so long. It’s not an overwhelming number of hours to work and I’m building my confidence up. In a few months, I know I’m going to be ready to progress to full time and permanent employment.”
Ed Woodmansey, Compliance Operations Manager at the Muntons Flamborough Maltings in Bridlington, heads up the Kickstart Scheme.
“The job market has always been extremely competitive. With so many people facing job losses because of COVID-19 pressures, it’s harder than ever. It’s especially tough right now for young people and we’re keen to help where we can. We're always keen for the younger generation to join our industry and so we're pleased to encourage that. We hope the experience and teachings our new recruits receive will help them build their careers in these most challenging of times.”