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Bishop's Stortford BID and Kickstart join forces to beat staff shortages




Shops and services in Bishop's Stortford are facing staff shortages.

The situation is so serious in some cases that Boots Opticians was forced to close its South Street branch temporarily recently because of staff shortages. It is advertising a number of vacancies.

The BID (Business Improvement District), which supports town centre traders, has stepped in to try to boost recruitment. Manager Gina Thomas is working with Kickstart, the town's charity which supports the unemployed, to match vacancies with job seekers.

Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas
Bishop's Stortford BID manager Gina Thomas

The business organisation has created a jobs listings on its website and emailed its levy payers to promote Kickstart's services.

Posts on offer include therapists at Urban Spa in Devoils Lane, retail positions at Mountain Warehouse in Potter Street and at Clarks and FatFace in Jackson Square as well as catering opportunities at Pasticerria di Leo in Florence Walk and Coffee House in South Street.

Gina said: "There are a number of businesses in the town centre with vacancies right now. These are across a number of sectors, such as retail, hospitality, beauty and more.

Some of the Kickstart team based at Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church on Thursdays and Fridays – director Peter Scarlett, centre, and chairman Jim Smith, far right, with advisors, from left, Terrie Archer, Martin Wylie and Nigel Varnam
Some of the Kickstart team based at Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church on Thursdays and Fridays – director Peter Scarlett, centre, and chairman Jim Smith, far right, with advisors, from left, Terrie Archer, Martin Wylie and Nigel Varnam

"We're keen to support BID businesses with this to help them promote these and fill the vacancies as quickly as possible. To assist with this we have created a new area on our website to help signpost the vacancies, recruitment consultants and the Kickstart scheme."

Kickstart, based at the Methodist Church in South Street, was founded 27 years ago and has provided one-to-one practical support and advice to over 2,500 unemployed jobseekers – three-quarters of them from Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Stansted – who between them have attended over 11,500 consultations.

That support includes writing CVs, interview preparation and practice, job searches and applications, IT help and guidance on careers, skills and training.

For more information see stortfordkickstart.org.uk and www.bishopsstortfordbid.co.uk/job-vacancies.



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