Vivark recruits following contract wins

Simon Donohue

Four unemployed people have secured jobs with the Vivark repairs and maintenance social enterprise company following contract wins with Knowsley Housing Trust worth more than £500,000.

The new recruits will start work on grounds and fencing maintenance in communities across Knowsley, Merseyside.

The new posts will cover an initial 26-week period with the possibility of becoming permanent jobs.

Jake Grundy, 21, from Prescot, is trained in horticulture but had been unemployed since losing his job at a Knowsley-based landscaping social enterprise which ceased operations last year.

He said: "I'm really pleased to have got this job. I can start looking forward now and planning things such as passing my driving test and hopefully getting a car."

Fellow new recruit Andrew Duff, 20, from Huyton, had struggled to gain employment since finishing a joinery course. He said: "This opportunity will make a big difference to what I can do and really improve my life."

The first of the four grounds and fencing contracts with KHT was won earlier this year and a further three to deliver fencing in Halewood, fencing and grounds maintenance work across Knowsley and grounds maintenance – beds and border work – have now been secured.

The recruits were among 15 unemployed local people selected for an 11-day training period by Nordic Pioneer, a specialist training and skills company. All then interviewed with Vivark for the positions.

Nordic Pioneer will continue to provide NVQ grounds maintenance training to the successful candidates.

Vivark operates as a social enterprise, putting profits back into creating opportunities for the communities it works in.

This includes creating employment and training opportunities, staff volunteering programmes and working with local suppliers to keep cash in the Knowsley economy.

Tony Cahill, executive director of commercial services with Vivark, said: "Since Vivark was launched in October last year we have been able to create dozens of jobs for the local area as well as training and apprenticeships, making sure that our work provides added value for communities.

"These new contract wins are a great success for Vivark and as our business grows we will be looking to create even more opportunities."

Sixteen people have already been previously recruited by Vivark to deliver the KHT grounds maintenance and fencing contracts, many of which also worked for the Knowsley landscaping social enterprise that closed last year.

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