STORY: Village Bakery seeks to recruit ex-offenders and workers with disabilities
A bakery firm in Wrexham has been hailed as a “role model” for other companies for the way it recruits people who are struggling to find jobs.
The fast-growing Jones Village Bakery that’s recently launched a new 140,000 sq ft super bakery on Wrexham Industrial Estate is looking to take on another 115 staff.
As well as placing the usual job adverts, they are working with Remploy which provides employment placement services for people with
disabilities and HMP Berwyn that’s also located on the industrial estate.
The “enlightened approach” has won praise from Lynne Evans, Remploy’s Executive Account Team Leader for North and Mid Wales.
She said: “We have placed people here in the past and there’s two people who have just started.
“We offer in-work support so, if someone comes so work for Village Bakery, then we ensure that we check in with them and make sure they’re okay.
“We check in with the Village Bakery to see how they’re getting on and do any kind of training we can help with. We offer disability confidence training, mental health awareness in the workplace, things like that.
“It can be absolutely life-changing. The Village Bakery is a role model for other employers out there.
“They’re willing to look at people who may have additional needs and they’re willing to make adjustments for those people.
“They’re willing to make the recruitment process easier to get people through the door and they engage with us wholeheartedly in work support to make sure that people stay in their roles and grow
“The company offers qualifications, apprenticeships so people can stay here for a number of years and have a fantastic career.”
Richard Outwin, a work coach at HMP Berwyn, was grateful to the Jones Village Bakery for giving ex-offenders the opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
He said: “What employment does is give guys focus and they become economically secure which is helpful.
“We have a great relationship with the Village Bakery and it will hopefully flourish even further going forward.
“If more employers were as understanding as the Village Bakery it would certainly be of benefit to society at large.”
Jason Page, the HR manager at Jones Village Bakery, said: “For years we have been very proud to be a family-run business that has a real vested interest in the local community.
“We want to partner with agencies to make sure that we are finding talent from all different walks of life and giving them opportunities.
“This is something we have been doing for some time and it’s all the more important now when companies across the board are finding it difficult to recruit people.
“As a result, we are able to tap into another potential pool of labour and can provide meaningful employment to people for whom a job can be the chance to turn their life around, providing dignity and purpose.
“We are a Real Living Wage employer and, for anybody who wants to work hard, we can offer a bright future."
For more information visit www.villagebakery.co.uk