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Press Release

Strongbar Ltd. Working with the Community to Encourage Local Youth Employment 

April 15, 2008

Aylsham, Norwich, ENGLAND:
Finding the delicate balance of skill and expertise in any organization is always a challenge.  But at Strongbar Ltd., a company located 30 minutes north-east of Norwich and several hours from London, the challenge can be particularly daunting.

"Finding precision engineers can be difficult at the best of times," commented Paul Raven, Account Manager at Strongbar Ltd.,  “but in our specialty industry, it can seem almost impossible at times.”

One of the main reasons for the challenge is the increasingly smaller and smaller pool of skilled labour in the local area to draw upon, especially young people.  "In our business," continued Paul, "it is not so much about finding people who already have the necessary skills as it is about finding the people who are prepared to learn the necessary skills."

Strongbar specializes in the centreless grinding and precision manufacturing of case-hardened linear shafting and guide bar. Some of the products are more akin to "art" than "steel." It takes a very delicate touch to succeed in this demanding business. And it takes a certain type of person.

Pictured From Left to Right:
Vanessa (North Walsham Jobcentre), Paul (Account Manager, Strongbar)
and new trainee Andrew Fisher

The company turned to the community for help, and in particular, to the Jobcentre Plus location in North Walsham to find out what services might be available in the search for new talent. Representatives from Strongbar sat down with their Local Labour Market Recruitment Advisor (LLMRA) to learn about some of the services offered to employers, including the Work Trials program and other potential incentives available in association with the British government’s “New Deal for Young People.”

"Work Trials were particularly appealing for Strongbar," said Paul. "A young person could work for us for up to three weeks which allowed us time to judge whether they were of the right caliber, plus it gave them a chance to see what the job involved. In addition, as part of the New Deal initiative, we were entitled to a wage subsidy for 26 weeks and a training grant."

The LLRMA for North Walsham said “Work Trials are not only for those people who are on New Deal but also for anyone who has been out of work for more than 6 months. [From] the employer’s perspective, Work Trials give them the chance to see how the candidate performs in the work place and how they fit in with their existing workforce. It really is a win, win situation."

The efforts immediately bore encouraging results. Enter Andrew Fisher – an unemployed 22-year old who, despite numerous other applications, found it difficult and frustrating to find work. Andrew accepted a work trial at Strongbar and was pleased with the experience. “I really liked the work and was delighted when, following the trial period, I was offered the job."

Andrew added "I would really like to thank my New Deal adviser Vanessa at the Jobcentre, she was brilliant. She spent time with me to help me find out what I wanted to do. Now I have a job and I am due to undertake an apprenticeship."

Asked to comment on the experience, Paul said "Strongbar would definitely take on another person using Work Trials, especially if they were as keen as Andrew."

For more information please call:

Strongbar Limited

Telephone: (+44) 01263 734034

North Walsham Jobcentre Plus

GPO Building, Kings Arms Street
North Walsham, Norfolk, United Kingdom NR28 9JX
Telephone: (+44)) 01692 605200

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