Sainsbury’s teams up with Remploy to get Sunderland folk back into work

Seven of Sainsbury's 14 new recruits, left to right, Keith Johnson, Tanya Burrell, Robert Rumney, Andrew McCarthy, David Grainger, Alan Birbeck and Edward Crow

Seven of Sainsbury's 14 new recruits, left to right, Keith Johnson, Tanya Burrell, Robert Rumney, Andrew McCarthy, David Grainger, Alan Birbeck and Edward Crow

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WEARSIDERS who found it difficult to get into work are back in business thanks to a new partnership.

A total of 14 people have been given jobs with supermarket Sainsbury’s after the national chain joined with Government organisation Remploy.

They have managed to get back into employment under the company’s You Can scheme, which began in 2008.

The initiative helps people who have previously faced significant barriers to finding work, including young people, long-term unemployed or those with learning disabilities.

Among the new members of the team at Sainsbury’s in Castletown are Alan Birbeck and Edward Crow.

Alan, 57, from Fulwell, has a medical allergy and had been out of work for several years while caring for his wife, who died 18 months ago.

“Being a carer was a full-time job, and it was the right thing to do, but it meant I couldn’t earn a wage,” said Alan.

Alan was referred by JobCentre Plus to Remploy’s Sunderland branch where he learned how to put together a CV and apply for jobs.

He said: “I am enjoying being in a busy environment, serving customers and playing a small part in ensuring the supermarket runs smoothly.”

Edward, from Houghton, had been out of work for five years after having to give up his job as a painter and decorator because of severe arthritis in his elbows.

After several operations, he felt able to return to work but, aged 60, he questioned whether any employer would offer him a chance.

Edward said: “Remploy helped me gain experience in retailing, which confirmed my desire to work in this sector. They also explained to me what Sainsbury’s look for when they recruit, which meant I was able to really prepare for the interview.

“It obviously did the trick. I’m now employed here and enjoying every minute.”