The Kickstart Scheme continues to have a positive impact for businesses across the region, including Somerset Chamber member Falcon Vehicle Solutions.
The company initially took on three Kickstarters, with two working in the firm’s rental team and another in the HR and accounts department.
While one relocated with family, a second secured a full-time job with a large employer in North Somerset and the third – Jordan Friend – has been taken on permanently by Falcon.
Tristan Savage, Managing Director, of Falcon Vehicle Solutions, said: “All three of our Kickstarters made a quick impression on us and became part of the team, with no reason to think of them as anything other than valued members of staff.
“The fact one of our Kickstarters gained full-time employment is, in itself, a success as Kickstart had given them the experience and confidence to enter the world of full-time employment.”
But Jordan certainly made an impression on the Falcon team and was offered a job with the company while he was only halfway through his Kickstart placement: “He certainly has a big future with us,” said Tristan.
“From day one, Jordan made a massive impression. A hunger to learn new skills and develop his knowledge of a completely alien industry.
“After only three months of Kickstart, we offered Jordan a full-time role within the business beyond his six months Kickstart placement finishing.
“Since then, Jordan has gone from strength-to-strength, independently running both our rental counters on occasions, handling challenging situations with customers and logistics that comes with commercial vehicle rental.”
Falcon Vehicle Solutions has been in business over 30 years and is continuing to grow, earning an enviable reputation as a comprehensive fleet provider. From humble beginnings, today the company operates a fleet in excess of 700 vehicles ranging from self-drive cars and
vans through to a full range of HGVs and trailers.
The fleet is the most diverse rental fleet in the South West of England and can provide anything from a one-day 7.5t tipper or a 17-seat minibus hire, to a seven-year contract hire on a bespoke 26t refrigerated HGV.
Jordan, who is a rental co-ordinator in the company’s Bridgwater office, said he was grateful for the opportunities offered by both Falcon and the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.
He said: “Having suffered first-hand the effects of redundancy due to lockdown, I was given the opportunity through the Government Kickstart Scheme to get my vehicle rental career started.
“Initially, as with any new job, it was daunting but within the first few months, my confidence had grown and I was fortunate enough to turn my six months Kickstart placement into a full-time permanent position at Falcon Vehicle Solutions.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to the Kickstarter Scheme and Falcon.”
Somerset Chamber has been acting as an official gateway for the Government’s Kickstart Scheme and more than 300 young people have been given placements.
The scheme helps companies cover the cost of employing a 16 to 24-year-old for six months, for 25 hours a week, with no cost to the business. Government pays 100% of the National Minimum Wage for those 25 hours, plus National Insurance contributions.