We were recently contacted by The Poppy Factory to ask if we would be interested in taking on ex-Service men and women as employees at Trade Skills 4U. At the time we were aware of The Poppy Factory but weren’t really aware of what they now do and how they currently work to help find jobs for wounded, injured and sick ex-Sservices personnel.
The Poppy Factory was set up in 1922 by Major George Howson, an engineer who had served on the Western Front. He had received a grant from the Unity Relief Fund of £2000 which he used to establish the factory and employ 5 severely injured WW1 veterans. By 1925 the factory had outgrown its premises and had to move to Richmond in Surrey where they are still based today and employs 47 injured, wounded or sick personnel.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of The Poppy Factory, however since 2007 they have broadened their remit and now seek to find employment for wounded, injured and sick service leavers beyond the factory itself and in the wider employment market.
This is the thing we want to raise awareness about. From our perspective it is a no brainer. A free bespoke service which supports heroes that have served our country and who make for excellent employees.
But The Poppy Factory even go further than that. Their key goal is to support the service leaver to ensure they make a smooth transition into their new role. They are supported by Employability Consultants through the employment process and The Poppy Factory will consider making a contribution towards supporting the needs of their “clients” into work.
We found common ground with the Poppy Factory, not only in terms of being happy to employ suitable candidates but also in that we are willing to offer free training to the same people with our Forgotten Hero’s Bursary Scheme. In fact it is the exactly the same people we support with the scheme that are likely to be supported by the Poppy Factory back into employment. As such we will be working together in the future to help re-train some of these guys wherever possible.
The key message right now is if you are recruiting or know someone else that is and they would like to advertise their jobs to injured service leavers please get in contact with the Poppy Factory. They are a non-profit organisation who may be able to place quality people within in your organisation at no cost whatsoever. We all know how hard it is to find good staff these days and at Trade Skills 4U we know from training and employing service leavers how motivated, organised and hard wormking they can be.
They aim to help 500 wounded, injured or sick ex-service men and women back into meaningful employment by 2015. Please help raise awareness and share this post. For more information please visit www.poppyfactory.org .