Bluewater’s pioneering on-site recruitment and training facility, The Learning Shop, has partnered with local charity Porchlight, to provide a new employment scheme that will help homeless people in Kent get back into work.

The week-long training course, held by The Learning Shop at Bluewater, helped disadvantaged people overcome barriers they’ve previously faced, due to lack of recent work experience or relevant skills, by offering valuable advice and guidance on securing employment. During the course, which took place last week, the Porchlight residents learnt about the retail industry and customer service, and received the same customer communications training as Bluewater staff. Plus, candidates also had a chance to update and improve their CVs and covering letters.  

In addition to the training, Bluewater and The Learning Shop have also helped to remove other barriers that can hold back the Porchlight residents when it comes to finding work by covering their travel costs and providing clothes for job interviews.

The Learning Shop has taken their details and areas of work they are interested in, with the hope of matching them to upcoming vacancies at Bluewater.

Mark Pinkney, Porchlight’s employment coordinator, said:

“The importance of finding and holding down a job is more than just receiving a monthly salary, and we’re really grateful to Bluewater, Land Securities and The Learning Shop for their support”

“The confidence, self-esteem, routine and structure jobs provide can be the cornerstone of a person’s recovery. People who are trying to overcome the complex emotional damage caused by homelessness may think it isn’t possible to change their lives, but it is. Getting a job is the perfect way to start this change. I’ve seen it happen numerous times.” 

Robert Goodman, general manager at Bluewater, commented:

“At Bluewater, we’re always looking for ways to help develop our community. We work closely with The Learning Shop to ensure we’re providing training and employment opportunities to people across Kent. This new initiative with The Learning Shop and Porchlight is a great way to help people in the area to fulfill their potential and get them back on track. I would like to wish all the hopeful candidates the very best luck when applying for positions at Bluewater.”