Derbyshire-based H W Martin Waste Ltd is one of the area’s top employers. The organisation operates at several sites across the UK and delivers public services across many counties.
Such wide-ranging operations bring about the need for a stable and competent workforce. The company has always sought to employ people local to its operations, wherever those operations might be; not only in Derbyshire itself but from Milton Keynes and the south Midlands right up to Northumberland and the North-East region. But in addition to that, and in keeping with its business ethics, the company goes that “extra mile” in its recruitment policy by extending a helping hand to the long-term unemployed.
Working in conjunction with a training agency appointed by the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) the company has given work opportunities to many registered job-seekers; some use the experience to find jobs elsewhere, and many we take on ourselves to become permanent employees. Operational locations where these employees have begun permanent posts include the company’s Alfreton Recycling Centre, our kerbside recycling collections service, and at household waste recycling centres. Each of these places delivers vital elements in the company’s service and all of the jobs give the employees an opportunity to climb the company’s career ladder.
The service that H W Martin Waste Ltd has engaged with provides a lifeline for individuals looking for work. It is particularly effective when people have been laid off from an industry sector in which they may have worked for several years. We work with the DWP and its agency to open the door to an alternative career.
Mark Faulconbridge, Operations Director at H W Martin Waste Ltd, explained why it works: “I am a firm believer in the notion that as long as you have common sense, the willingness to work hard and the ability to learn from those around you, you can turn your hand to a great many occupations and do well in them. What we are doing is helping to get that message across in the first place, and then rewarding those that go for it with a decent job and good career prospects.”
We typically give our prospective employees a week’s trial so the company and the individual can assess their suitability and aptitude for the role. When all’s well and the individual is happy we offer them the job. Sometimes it can take as little as working one shift to see that the person is right for the job!
An example of one of our many success stories is that of David, who came on a work trial at our Alfreton Recycling Centre in August 2012. Within two weeks we had taken him on as a permanent employee and he gained knowledge and experience in all aspects of the materials recycling process undertaken at the site. Just a year later and David transferred onto our recycling collections service, where he has gained even more experience in the recycling supply chain.
David’s career progression is typical for employees on a trajectory that can take them to supervisory and management roles. David’s story is repeated at other recycling sites across the company. It is an ongoing process – this month has already seen the company further expand the works trial process.
This is not the sole element of our recruitment policy – we advertise job vacancies, use recruitment agencies, run graduate training and apprenticeships in a similar way to most companies. But the DWP initiative will always be an important part of our policy.