New Year job joy at market walk

THE NEW year has brought new job joy for a group of hard working Christmas temps at a busy Chorley bumper bargain store.

Five of the eight Christmas temporary staff employed to cope with the festive rush at B & M Bargains at Market Walk have been made permanent members of staff in 2012.

One of the delighted recipients of a new work contract was Josh Hope, 20, of Chorley who has been unemployed for almost all of the four years since he left school.

He started at the store in October last year on an eight week unpaid work experience placement via the local job centre which is set up to help the unemployed gain valuable experience for their CVs.

Manager of the store, Gill Purgac, was so impressed with his attitude and hard work that she offered him a temp job through December and then on Christmas Eve a full time permanent position from the beginning of January.

Josh, a keen sportsman who enjoys playing American football and squash, said: “I think it was the best Christmas present I have ever had!

“I wasn’t expecting it all and I was so shocked and pleased when they told me. It has been such a confidence boost after looking for a decent job for so long now.

“I really like working here because the team are nice and everyone is easy to get on with and it is a chance to get out and meet new people.

“It is also a fantastic chance for me to get some great experience because the job is varied. I have to help with deliveries and making sure it gets out on to the shop floor and then I am dealing with the public while I am out there, helping them to find the things they need.”

When Josh left school aged 16, he had very few qualifications and he regrets not making more of his time at school. Since then he has had one or two jobs for very short periods of time but has found it very difficult to find a permanent, regular position which holds any prospects for him.

He said: “It does get very demoralising and you do have moments when you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall.

“I was sending out 10-15 job applications a week and I hardly even heard back from most of them. One of the main problems was that I had hardly anything to put down on my CV. That’s why  thought it was worth doing the work experience placement at first and I am really glad I did it now!”

His manager Gill, a mum-of-two from Chorley, said Josh and all the new permanent staff deserved their new jobs.

She said: “It was a nice feeling to be able to give some of our temps a permanent job for 2012 and they have gained their positions because of their hard work over the festive period and the fact they have proved to me that they can show up, on time, every day which is obviously very important.

“We had a very busy time in the run up to Christmas and sales were up substantially on the year before so I felt that if they were able to cope in a busy December with the demands of a retail job, then they were an obvious choice as a new permanent member of our team.”

Annalisa Johnson, marketing manager at Market Walk, said the creation of new jobs at the busy Chorley shopping centre was a positive indicator at the start of 2012.

She said: “It is really heart warming to hear that B & M Bargains and other Market Walk retailers are able to create so many new, permanent positions for people, especially those who have experienced long periods of unemployment.

“Market Walk is a thriving shopping centre and so I am sure the extra pairs of hands will be very valuable and ensure that our visitors continue to receive great customer service at our shops.”

Elsewhere in Market Walk, other retailers were also able to offer full time positions to Christmas temporary workers.

All three of the temps taken on in December at high street fashion favourite, New Look, have been made permanent.

Deputy manager, Dominique Lammas, said: “It is a very positive for the three young people we
have now taken on permanently, who are also at college and need to support themselves while they are studying.

“I hope it helps others, especially young people, realise that there are jobs still out there and hopefully we will be able to provide our new staff with valuable skills and experience for their future careers, whether that is in retail or in something entirely different.”



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