Ian’s career is moving in the right direction


Ian Palmer Pickfords employee

The Kickstart scheme helped thousands of young people who were unemployed, on Universal Credit, and struggling to find work to get a six-month job. Yet, below the statistics, there are personal stories of how the Kickstart scheme made a real difference to individual young people looking for a chance to prove themselves at work.

This week, we talk to Ian Palmer, who applied for a Kickstart job at Pickfords – just one of the 100s of employers that chose Supplytrain as a recruitment and employability support partner. Like many of his peers at Pickfords, Ian has now been offered a permanent position with the company and reflects on his journey…

What were you doing before the Kickstart scheme?

I was jumping from job-to-job before the Kickstart scheme. I worked in care, as a chef for six months and did some factory work.I worked hard, but never really felt valued in those businesses and didn’t enjoy going to work.

“Things in my personal life then took a turn for the worse; my mental health was not great. As I was struggling to find work, I signed on to universal credit to see if I could get support.”

Supplytrain work closely with job centres all over the UK to place hardworking young people in jobs with supportive employers. We write job descriptions that really sell the opportunities and sift candidates to check they are suitable for our employer clients.

“I went for a meeting with my work coach at the Job Centre. She told me about the kickstart scheme and all the jobs available, but Pickfords really stood out to me.” 

The job description made it clear they are a reputable company, there’s an opportunity to learn and it’s a job with a trade behind it, so I applied – and was delighted to get through to interview, then selected!

How did you find your first couple of weeks at Pickfords?

I realised quite quickly that it was a very positive workplace. Everyone seemed laid back and eager to show me the ropes.

“Although it was an office job, one of my colleagues, who I was shadowing, took me to the yard so I would get a real feel for the place and understand the different crate and van sizes. This way I would know what I was talking about when speaking with customers.”

Over time, Ian was promoted to a Move Manager – a role that entailed him answering the phones, being the first point of contact for customers and booking clients in for surveying. A few months into his placement, he was offered this role permanently at Pickfords, and he says he now feels as if he has a future career for the first time ever.

How did you feel when you were offered a long-term job?

“I had regular 1-2-1s with my manager and he was always reassuring me that I was doing an amazing job. I found this really encouraging, so I kind of saw it coming, but I was still unbelievably chuffed when offered the job permanently!”

Everyone gets on great. The managers ride the line between manager and colleague well and I really feel as if I have found a career for life within the company.

As a recruitment and support agency, Supplytrain always likes to check-in with young people that came through our service what their future looks like now, compared to what life was like before they secured a job with a supportive employer. This is what Ian had to say about Pickfords:

Life before I found this job was not good, I was worrying night and day about my future. My living situation was not great, so this job really saved me.

“I feel really valued at Pickfords and my wealth of knowledge is constantly expanding. I have never felt more motivated in a job before, especially since meeting the CEO and him telling me if I want to progress here, I can.”

Now see a plan of action for the future and I want to climb the ladder within the company. I am the happiest I have ever been.

What next?

    Chamber talent