The initiative is delivered by the Kent based charity Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), who is a subcontractor to G4S. Their successful delivery of the programme across Kent and Sussex has expanded to include an office in Tonbridge, opened at the end of January, and now a new office opened in Ashford just six weeks later.
The Ashford office, based in Kent House on Station Road, officially launched on 8th March 2013. The Rt Hon Damian Green, MP for Ashford, formally launched the service with a ribbon cutting ceremony witnessed by Bob Davidson Mayor of Ashford, local business owners and jobseekers from the community.
Damian Green MP is pleased with the support being offered to the community, “I’m delighted to be launching RBLI’s Work Programme initiative for Ashford to help tackle unemployment.
“I commend organisations such as RBLI for using their heritage and expertise in this field to support Ashford’s jobseekers. I hope that our local businesses will join me in supporting this initiative by utilising the free recruitment services and financial incentives being offered here today.”
Through RBLI’s service to date, 220 jobseekers from Ashford have found work. One such jobseeker was Jamie Ashton, 22, who has successfully been employed as an apprentice by Ashford based building and construction company, Ball Contractors. Jamie explains how he overcame his initial reservations about the scheme, “When I was unemployed, I felt like I was stuck in a rut, I felt depressed and that there was no way out of the situation.
“I enrolled onto the Work Programme, but had heard stories and was convinced it wasn’t going to help me. But when I met with RBLI’s advisors, I soon changed my mind and they helped me focus on motivating myself. I am so happy that they did that, they do an amazing job and I honestly don’t think I would have got where I am today without their help and support. Now that I am in work, I have opportunities and I feel like my life is going somewhere again.”
Susan Graham, RBLI Centre Manager, “We arm our Work Programme customers with free employability skills, such as CV development and interview techniques, which they need to find meaningful jobs.
“By working with national contacts, we are also able to provide free training on a variety of topics such as self marketing and business start-up. We’re keen to work with local employers to provide free recruitment support and facilities, financial incentives for hiring a Work Programme customer, and ongoing business advice.”
If you are an employer located near Ashford and would like to discuss RBLI’s free recruitment services, please contact the Ashford branch on 0800 319 6841 or email employment.solutions@