Flagship jobs scheme piloted by Admiral

A Welsh Government backed pilot training package pioneered by Admiral Group to ensure job seekers have the specific skills they require has helped scores of unemployed people gain qualifications and find work.

The pilot is geared to meet the on-going recruitment needs of Admiral - the only FTSE100 listed company headquartered in Wales - while helping unemployed adults find work.

Job seekers benefit from an eight-week pre-employment training package to equip them with the skills required by Admiral - which also prepares them for work in the wider contact centre industry.

The pilot has exceeded it targets - 115 people completed the training; 97 achieved a Level 2 qualification in customer service; 84 achieved a Level 2 qualification in team leadership and to date more than half have already gained employment.

On a visit to Admiral’s headquarters today, First Minister Carwyn Jones said the approach, which had proved successful, has been incorporated into the Welsh Government’s Steps- to-Employment programme, which launches next week

The First Minister met some of the new recruits taken on by Admiral after successfully completing the training pilot.

They included:

  • Fifty eight year old Janice Thomas, from Caerphilly, who was made redundant after forty years with Chubb. She found it difficult finding work and was unemployed for over a year before joining the Admiral project. She says her new career in an entirely different industry gives purpose to her day.
  • Twenty three year old Craig Thompson, from Mountain Ash, says his new job has completely changed his life. He was out of work for two years before gaining work in Admiral’s Customer Services Department.
  • Shane Hughes, 26, from Pontypool, was unsuccessful when he previously applied for a job with Admiral but took advantage of the training that equipped him with the skills that helped him secure the job he wanted.
  • Twenty one year old Shannon Phelps from Porth, Rhondda lost her job working in a factory and had been out of work for six months. The leap from factory work to the insurance industry was significant but she demonstrated that a willingness to change reaps rewards.

Admiral worked with Acorn Recruitment & Training, Welsh Government and Jobcentre Plus to create and deliver the training tailored to their recruitment needs in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.

Carwyn Jones described it as a successful package of support created as a direct response to Admiral’s recruitment needs.

“It is a great example of partners working together to provide a solution that benefits both the employer and job seekers. It has proved especially beneficial for those seeking to start or regain employment.”

He said elements of the Admiral pilot are now included in the Welsh Government’s Steps to Employment programme and will offer up to eight weeks bespoke training to meet the vacancies of a particular business, businesses or economic sector.

Ceri Assiratti, head of People Services at Admiral, said, “We are in the fortunate position to be recruiting staff due to our continued growth, but that presents its own challenges. It has been great to be involved in such a groundbreaking scheme to help people who have found it difficult to gain employment, and it has provided us with some impressive recruits.”

Sarah John , Director of Acorn’s training division said, “The partnership approach between all organisations has proved to be an inspirational and rewarding experience. Acorn’s knowledge of Admiral’s culture and our understanding of their business needs meant that a customised solution could be developed resulting in a successful programme. It was an excellent example of collaboration and teamwork, and we are tremendously proud to be involved.”

Bernadette Jones of Jobcentre Plus said:” The candidates that were selected for the pre-employment training programme were extremely enthusiastic and it has proved to be a rewarding partnership particularly as all targets were exceeded with a high percentage of people gaining qualifications and work.”