Robin Rycroft led the way in 2020 - so where is he now?
'Three weeks ahead of me there was nothing.’
‘Staffline saved my life. I don’t know what I would have done. At my age, there was nothing out there.’
March 2020, and the rapid spread of COVID 19 had cut Robin’s pipeline of contracts as a freelance Merchandiser. Despite rich experience in Retail Management and a network of contacts, work was suddenly scarce and Robin’s life, like so many others, had been turned upside down.
Staffline and PeoplePlus, combining agency recruitment, employment skills training and grassroots connections to major employers, had created the #Feedthenation campaign to help connect people like Robin with jobs that would really make a difference to local communities in the early days of the pandemic.
Accustomed to moving from contract to contract, Robin acted quickly, firing off an application to Tesco for a role as a Warehouse Operative at a big distribution centre. He also clicked the Staffline link through the #Feedthenation campaign that led him to the same vacancy, and applied with his CV.
Just minutes later, Robin took a call from Peter at Staffline, who invited him to interview. Offered the role on the same day and trained by PeoplePlus the week after, Robin and thirty-seven other #Feedthenation recruits were ready to start.
Within 10 days of clicking the link, Robin was back in control and part of something that was really helping. Assembling massive cages of stock urgently needed on supermarket shelves, Robin was among the first of the 25,000 people moved into work in just three months during the height of the pandemic through Staffline and PeoplePlus’ #Feedthenation campaign.
For Robin, a job that started in a time of crisis has become sustained employment.
Not only has he stayed in the job, but he is now a Supervisor, one of four per shift supporting the work of 150 assemblers picking and packing hundreds of thousands of fresh food essentials every month. Robin understands what it takes to do the job. ‘Staff turnover is massive. It is a hard job; it doesn’t suit everyone.’
2 years later, Robin is still with Tesco and Staffline, unlike others who have gone back into their original field. For Robin it is the recognition his employer, Staffline, and the responsibility he is trusted with that have kept him striving.
PeoplePlus and Staffline are now united in their focus to #GetBritainWorking. Whether pivoting experience to deliver where need is greatest or helping someone into a first job in an unexpected sector, we have over 24,999 #Feedthenation experiences to draw upon.
At 62, Robin is still motivated by new challenges. He makes things happen, such as putting a Buddy system in place for new starts. While the pandemic may be ending, his sense of purpose remains. ‘I was one of seven children, we worked as a team. I started in retail at the age of sixteen. Its pride really - I’ve always worked.’
As Robin himself says, if you can, ‘You just need to get out of bed and go to work.’