A former agency worker facing an uncertain future following sudden redundancy is now looking forward to a happy New Year after securing a role with a national furniture company.
Yosef Drra, 43, shook off the shock of losing his job last month at a packaging firm to work with Bernicia employability expert Luke Dargie through the North of Tyne Working Homes partnership, refining his CV and concentrating on the skills he has to secure an interview with high volume kitchen manufacturer JTC Furniture Group.
After several coaching sessions with Luke, Yosef nailed his interview with JTC and director Colin Tweddell was delighted to offer him a full-time job from early January as a trainee warehouse operative at the firm’s new Cramlington distribution centre – the business keen to invest in his skills and potential.
Yosef said: “Luke was brilliant in helping me find the job – I’m really excited, really happy to find this job.
“I’ll be doing my best to help make things as good as they can be and I hope they’ll like my ideas and work ethic. Colin and Luke have been perfect with me and I can’t wait to get started.”
JTC director Colin approached Bernicia to work with its employability team in the search for new talent to be part of the team leading strategic growth at its Cramlington depot. JTC is one of the UK’s biggest names in making fitted furniture, including for housing associations, headquartered in Dundee.
“I was immediately struck by Yosef’s enthusiasm and very strong work ethic,” said Colin. “He has worked as a chef, he knows how to work in a pressurised environment and off his own bat had sought out training in warehousing skills to improve his chances of getting work in this sector.
“When I rang to offer Yosef the position it was probably one of the nicest phone calls I’ve ever had. I could hear the joy in his voice and it brought a tear to my eye. He will have a flexible operational role within our business which will be open to all areas of the business and nothing would give me greater pleasure in six months’ time to see him progressing through the business.”
North of Tyne Working Homes is a partnership of housing providers, including Bernicia, local authorities and employment support organisations, working across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland, to get people into work and provide access to training.
Luke said: “During our initial meeting , Yosef explained he was an agency worker and had had no notice or redundancy payment.
“We started to build a picture of his skills and experience, working in a kitchen, able to cope in stressful environments, attention to detail and the flexibility and loyalty that demands.
“After I picked out his skills and understood that he was looking for a career where he can grow, I knew he would be a good candidate for JTC. I explained the job description and how the role had progression, which was perfect for Yosef as he had just left catering and wanted a new career.
“Once we got confirmation of the interview, I gave Yosef some more information on the business and the team. I went through the interview process and gave him some advice on the way to answer questions. He didn’t need much coaching to be honest and I’m absolutely delighted that Yosef has secured the job his skills deserve and JTC has found the employee it needs to help drive business growth.”
North of Tyne Homes is receiving up to £4.3m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.
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Pictured at the Cramlington depot are Yosef, centre, Colin, right, and Luke.