Uddingston firm gives jobs to all its young work-placement candidates

Uddingston firm Dawnfresh Seafoods has taken on all the young people to whom it offered work-placement opportunities in the last 12 months.

Dawnfresh produces seafood for major retailers and food service in the UK and around the world, owning and managing several trout-farming sites as well as specialised production facilities handling fresh, frozen, marinated, smoked and other seafood lines.

It employs 650 people across its sites and operates a range of services, from fish processing and supply through to the full product development cycle; from identifying opportunities to delivering finished product.

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In the 12 months leading to April 2019, Dawnfresh offered five young people work placements through the charity Movement to Work (MtW).

MtW looks not just to achieve placements but to ensure as many participants as possible can be offered meaningful employment as a result of showing what they are capable of once given a chance to in real workplaces.

The group of young people included those who had been homeless, suffered addiction issues and have learning difficulties.

All five have now been taken on as apprentices specialising in engineering, food and drink operations, supply chain management and a degree-apprenticeship in business management.

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Helen Muir, HR director at Dawnfresh Seafoods, said: “Despite difficulties in many of their backgrounds, these young people are an absolute inspiration to managers and colleagues alike.

“Their ambition for their own careers and Dawnfresh is infectious, they are loyal and we all love working with them.

“I am so grateful to all colleagues in Dawnfresh for helping us welcome these young people into the world of work, and I know we all feel that we are making a truly great contribution to society, as well as individuals and their families.

“We will be taking part in further schemes and we would encourage all employers to get involved in Movement to Work placement schemes. It’s great for business, morale and the young people themselves.”

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James Ashall, chief executive of MtW, said: “Dawnfresh Seafoods is a relatively small business compared with most of our employer partners, so it’s great to see that not only is it keen to give young people a chance in the workplace who might not have had many chances before, it is taking on all the young people who took up its placements this year.

“Not only are these young people inspirational in their determination to succeed, whatever the odds, employers like Dawnfresh Seafoods really show the way in terms of innovating in recruitment for the future.”

Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Richard Lyle lodged a motion in Scottish Parliament to recognise Dawnfresh.

He said: “In 2016, I stood on a platform of Jobs. Jobs. Jobs – to see announcements like this in my constituency are to be welcomed and I hope other businesses, throughout Lanarkshire and beyond, can take inspiration from the actions of Dawnfresh and work to deliver even more opportunities for local people.”