Colin Shipton has been working successfully as a freelance website designer for more than eight years. Always slightly wary about taking on an employee, he has now found the answer to realising his dreams to expand his business by taking on a young person through the Hand Picked initiative.
Colin’s company Intrafusion has clients across the UK, and while he could always have brought in other freelancers to help with the project work, he was often bogged down with admin, or just too busy to think ahead.
Joining the Hand Picked programme he has found a way forward. He has been able to find the ideal employee, without the fear of an upfront commitment and an employment programme that, to him, makes good sense. He now feels that Intrafusion is at a turning point in its development.
“Making that leap and taking on an employee was always a bit of a barrier for me. I knew I wanted a young person who had loads of enthusiasm, but they could be inexperienced and that was a problem.
“Through Hand Picked, I could give a young person a three month job, knowing that both of us would benefit. I would get some help with my workload and get a chance to assess them, whilst they at the very least, would have a good job on their CV and a reference. It’s a win-win situation.
Hand Picked is a jobs creation initiative set up by Gerard Eadie CBE, chairman of windows and conservatories company, CR Smith, to offer a form of ‘corporate parenting’ to young people who are finding it tough to get into full time employment. It is backed by a network of employers throughout Scotland who provide 16-24 year olds with a three month paid job, a reference (the Hand Picked Passport) and support to find their next role.
Colin wasn’t convinced that unpaid work experienced programmes were the right way forward. As an employer he felt that he should invest in any employee, which is why Hand Picked struck the right chord with him.
Gerard Eadie CBE said:
“Getting young people fit for work is the biggest barrier to reducing youth unemployment and as employers, we need to create the jobs that can give young people the chance to gain work skills. The aim of Hand Picked is to help young adults who want to work, by providing a 12 week paid job. This gives them the opportunity to find out what it means to have a proper job and leave with a reference, the Hand Picked Passport, that will support their next job interview.
“I have always believed that the best way to get a job is to be in a job. Hand Picked is based on the principle of ‘corporate parenting’ where the employer provides motivation, support and personal contacts to help unemployed young people move forward with their lives. The Passport is an important part of the process because references make a big difference when anyone presents themselves to a future employer.”