Growth programme helps local business get job seekers back into work

A local entrepreneur whose company is helping job seekers get back into work, is expanding his business thanks to a growth programme being delivered by The University of Nottingham’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Ian Grewcock, co-director of My Jobs Place, is one of 30 business people in Nottingham who are taking part in Growth 100, a Nottingham City Council initiative financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Through a series of 12 one day practical sessions, Growth 100 is helping business owners and directors, like Ian Grewcock, to exploit new business opportunities and develop the skills to achieve business expansion.

Providing innovative recruitment solutions
In 2011, Ian Grewcock and co-directors Tim Richards and Paul Knight, launched ‘My Jobs Place’ after identifying a gap in the recruitment market. My Jobs place is an innovative coaching and recruitment solutions company that uses software and video to help job seekers create on-line digital profiles to increase their employability skills and ultimately put them into work. The business has since expanded into contracts with further and higher education institutions across England as well as relationships with Job Centre Plus.

Ian and his colleagues visit Job Centre Plus sites and work with job seekers on a one to one basis develop video profiles and provide the candidates with tips and general employment advice. This strengthening relationship with Job Centre Plus is helping Ian and his partners to support over 1,000 job seekers.

Providing practical advice
Ian said: “We know what job opportunities there are in Nottingham so that when we meet with job seekers we can develop digital profiles that match them to the available local jobs. In a way, we’re a bit like a cross between Facebook and online dating sites, but purely for those looking for work.

“Unlike the majority of job sites, My Job Place offers support that goes above and beyond the standard service offered by the recruitment market. For instance, we provide a drop in service for two days a week at Job Centre Plus sites in Nottingham, to provide practical advice to job seekers on how to get a job.”

If the applicants require further assistance they are referred to a course with an approved training company. My Job Place provides additional training on application writing, developing digital profiles, s and employment, promoting the job seekers and providing them with a complete service.

Refining managerial and entrepreneurial skills
Ian believes that the Growth 100 programme has been instrumental in the recent growth of his company and has helped to refine his managerial and entrepreneurial skills. “When your business is small and you only have two or three managers, there can be gaps in your management skill set,” said Ian. “The session we spent defining our management style was really enlightening for me. The personalised approach of this workshop enabled me to look at how I manage my team and identify what I need to improve on.”

My Jobs Place is also expanding into Derby and Birmingham and looking to expand nationally over the next five years. Ian believes that Growth 100 has given him the confidence that the business is on the right track. He said: “No matter how good you are at business, third party confirmation that you are doing the right thing is always helpful."

Developing a competitive edge
“I’d definitely recommend the Growth 100 programme to other small and medium sized businesses” added Ian. “The aim is simply to help businesses like mine to grow, which in turn will hopefully give us the competitive edge we need to be successful and benefit the local economy.”

Professor Simon Mosey, from Nottingham University Business School, added: “Ian’s positive experience on Growth 100 is echoed by the other participants on the programme. The business people who have participated in Growth 100 have found it extremely useful. In addition to the more formal training elements, they have also been sharing ideas and providing help and advice to each other. As a result of their experiences, they have gone back to their businesses and are now trying innovative new ideas, which is very exciting to see.”

For more details about Growth 100, visit www.growth100.co.uk


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