In July 2013, Tesco, in Partnership with the London Borough of Bexley and Jobcentre Plus (JCP) formed the first regeneration partnership for a dotcom centre. It was planned that the new centre would open in late October 2013.
It was discussed in early meetings that Tesco would work with Resources plus and JCP to fill a percentage of their vacancies with long term unemployed Bexley residents. At this time, Bexley's Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count for June 2013, reported 4,205 unemployed, of which 2030 were registered as long term unemployed (6 months+).
The partnership held information/application days to advertise 100 guaranteed regeneration jobs. The jobs created included picking, replenishing, administration and delivery driving staff. Nearly 500 long term unemployed were invited to attend an application session. All attending and passing the application assessment were guaranteed an interview with Tesco. Of these 500 candidates, 306 attended interview with 96 being ‘job matched’ to the regeneration jobs.
There was some fallout from the 96 candidates job matched, 4 were ‘talent spotted’ and trained as Tesco Team Leaders and 8 decided not to take part in the programme. This left a total of 84 to join the 8 week programme, an 87.5% retention rate of those offered the opportunity, or a 91.6% retention rate including the 4 Team Leaders.
'I have really enjoyed the opportunity in Managing the Regeneration Programme in Erith. It's been one of the most rewarding roles in my 23yr Career, whereby I've seen some outstanding commitment from our 'Partner's - Resource plus and Job Centre Plus. I believe the secret to our success with this programme, has been the way in which the 'Partners' have managed the 'streamlined' selection process. As a result, The Management Team and I have been impressed by the overall calibre of candidate, the level to what they've been trained, along with the gratitude they have towards their course tutors. This has now set out the foundation, for a long term, strong, confident partnership, for which I'm proud to have been part of.'
Paul Smith, Tesco Regeneration Partnership Manager
Overall, Resources plus assisted around 250 Bexley residents to access employment with Tesco.com. As the relationship builds and strengthens, we continue to place local people into local sustainable work.