The opening of a new supermarket has helped more than 60 jobless people get back into work.
A total of 63 people have got jobs in cleaning and car parking positions at the £19m Sainsbury’s store in the Talbot Gateway which opened last month.
Some of the new staff had been unemployed for years before being recruited as part of the Government’s Work Programme, which is being delivered in Blackpool by Inspire 2 Independence (i2i) in partnership with Ingeus UK Limited.
Workers have been taken on by Servest, which has the cleaning contract at the store, and Horizon Parking.
Samantha Potter had not had a job since 1998 when she gave up work to become a full-time mum but has now got a job as a cleaner.
She said: “The kids are older now, so I decided it was time to do something for myself and I started looking for work about 12 months ago.
“Unfortunately it felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.
“But once I started coming to i2i things moved a lot quicker and I ended up with two interviews in a week. I was chuffed to be offered a job here at Sainsbury’s. It’s going really well so far.”
After 18 months out of work, Paul Naylor is now working as a car park attendant with Horizon Parking at the new store.
He said: “I was only at i2i for two weeks before they helped me to get this job.
“The staff there were like a breath of fresh air. They were genuinely interested in me and they did everything they could to give me a chance of getting back into work. I’m really enjoying it.”
Jason Davenport, manager of i2i which is based in Topping Street, said: “This really is a gold star example of the Work Programme in action.
“We are absolutely delighted for every single one of the 63 i2i customers who are now in work at the new Sainsbury’s site. I know they all have a very bright future.”