Young tenant work experience initiative launched
Published by Elizabeth Pokorny for Rixonway Kitchens Limited in Education and also in Communities, Housing
Jordan Evans with Dan Francis from Rixonway
Rixonway Kitchens Launches New Initiative to Support Youth into Employment
Set against a backdrop of record youth unemployment, social housing kitchen manufacturer Rixonway Kitchens has launched a new initiative to support young people entering the job market.
According to recent statistics just under one million people aged 16-24 remain unemployed citing reasons for disengagement such as poverty and lack of aspiration or opportunity. Serious about reducing youth unemployment Rixonway Kitchens is offering young social housing tenants an opportunity to gain insight and experience in all areas of its business.
The first tenant to take part in the activity is 17 year old Aspire resident Jordan Evans from Newcastle Under-Lyme who spent a day shadowing one of Rixonway’s designers to understand more about the role and learn the key skills such as producing CAD designs.
After finishing school last year and starting training with PM Group in March 2012 Jordan has taken part in various apprenticeships in the hope of securing permanent employment. He has just finished training in brick laying and has an interest in construction and kitchen fitting.
Rixonway designer Dan Francis, who mentored Jordan for the day, started his design career working with bathrooms, kitchens for private landlords and builders before entering the social housing market.
Dan explains: “I ran the day in the same way I would if I were training up a new recruit going through the process and showing Jordan how a CAD design is produced before letting him complete CAD designs himself. Jordan was great, he took my instruction very well and by the third house he was completing designs with little instruction from me.”
Jordan felt the day was beneficial, saying: “I’ve learnt a lot from the day. After Dan showed me how to do the first kitchen I went on to complete designs for the rest of properties in the day. I would be very interested in a role in design and hope that the day might be a stepping stone to a permanent position.”
Rixonway Chief Executive Paul Rose explained his reasons for the initiative: “It is important for all Britain’s businesses to contribute to supporting the country’s unemployed in whatever way they can. Offering work experience and training in this way to young people engages them, gives them an insight into the world of work and allows them to experience a job they may not have considered before. If this initiative is successful we will consider rolling it out to other areas of the business. Now more than ever, we need to ensure our young people have the right skills, experience and opportunities to progress in education or the workplace”
Offering tenants a retail experience is an important aspect of Rixonway’s service delivery and each tenant is given the opportunity to select a kitchen which suits them. Selecting from a variety of colours and units the designer creates a visual representation of the tenant’s kitchen to allow them to see how their selection will look in their kitchen space.
Formed in 1978, Yorkshire-based Rixonway Kitchens is the only UK kitchen manufacturer working solely in affordable and social housing. It manufactures 12,000 units per week and employs over 450 people at its UK HQ and state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Dewsbury with 40 site-based designers who operate nationwide.