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AFB Offers 100 Work Placements via Kickstart Scheme

September 03, 2021


A.F. Blakemore has welcomed 100 young people into the business on work placements via the government’s Kickstart Scheme since the end of March.

The Kickstart Scheme is designed to help people aged 16 to 24 who are on universal credit to develop the skills and experience they need to find work through valuable six-month job placements.

The majority of work placements at AFB have been offered in Blakemore Retail, where the two job roles available via the scheme are part-time home delivery support assistants and fresh food champions.

Across the wider group of companies, placements have also been offered in Blakemore Design & Shopfitting, Blakemore Foodservice and Blakemore Fresh Foods, as well as in marketing and logistics. 

Group HR & Strategy Director Ian Diment commented: “As a business that is committed to building a diverse workforce and investing for the future, it is vital that we help foster the next generation of talent by helping young people into work.

“Our job roles can provide young people with great insight into careers in retail and logistics, as well as the chance to gain skills essential for long-term employment.

“The newly created roles in Blakemore Retail are also helping to accelerate the implementation of the business’s key strategies around fresh food development and home delivery.”

Each individual on a placement with the company is being supported with on-the-job training and employability skills training, which includes three virtual sessions focusing on job searching, interview skills and CV and cover letter writing.

So far, five young people who have completed work placements at AFB have been offered permanent contracts with the company. One of these is Katie Dunkerley, who joined Blakemore Retail’s Lingwood store near Norwich on a placement as a fresh food champion.

Katie commented: “What I enjoy most about my job is definitely the people I work with. They have been so kind and supportive of me being the new person.

“It’s been really useful getting experience in a job, even if in small things, because they could help me in the future. I really love my job.” 

A.F. Blakemore is also a Kickstart gateway organisation, which means that independent retailers can access the scheme via the company too. Currently, 12 SPAR retailers have 12 young people on placements. 


Kickstarter Katie, who now has a permanent role at SPAR Lingwood

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