Family-run local business, Power Wash UK, has benefitted from two young people joining the business through the £2 billion Government scheme, Kickstart. Funding from the scheme has provided businesses across Bury with the opportunity to offer six-month work placements, and help local young people gain vital career-enhancing skills.  

Lauren Fallows, 21, and Alfie Liston, 21, started with Power Wash UK in November 2021. The company grew rapidly over the pandemic, with more people working from home increasing the demand for residential cleaning. Unable to commit to additional staff without knowing whether the growth was permanent or COVID-related, business-owners Pam and Steve Plumb were able to take advantage of the government funding for training and development and employ Lauren and Alfie for a guaranteed six months. They now intend on employing them as permanent staff once their placement ends.

Lauren is a former Fred Longworth High School student, and joined Power Wash UK as an Administration and Marketing Assistant after completing two years at University and leaving with a Diploma in Marketing. Her role includes updating databases with customer information, managing correspondence, and overseeing the marketing for the business. Lauren has successfully completed a number of online courses, including Admin and PA Skills, Social Media for Business and Digital Marketing. In addition to this, she is currently completing a Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Social Media Marketing. 

Lauren said, “I’ve gained so many new skills on my placement, I’ve become so much more confident, and have become better at communicating, especially on the phone. The placement has been so beneficial.” Lauren also shared that she wants to stay in administration and marketing in the future, and continue to work with small businesses.

Alfie, a former Phillips High School student, is a Pressure Cleaning Operative with Power Wash UK. His training is primarily on-the-job, but he has completed certificated e-leaning related to the role including Manual Handling, Asbestos Awareness, Banksman training, and a COSHH Awareness Advanced Module. He is also due to complete a Health and Safety in Construction qualification, required for the Green CSCS card, which remains valid for 5 years and allows Alfie to work on construction sites. Alfie went straight into work after high school, and has worked in a variety of settings including warehousing. His role with Power Wash UK has given him a career path to follow, and allowed him to gain new professional skills, like interviewing and following direction. Alfie eventually wants to become a business owner, and employ his own staff.

Alfie said, “It’s great to have such supportive bosses. This has 100% been the right move for me.” 

Pam Plumb, joint owner of Power Wash UK, said, “We are not a big national company, we are a small, family run local business. The Kickstart Scheme has been a fantastic opportunity for us as a company to make our expansion plan ideas a reality with the support of a government initiative.

I contacted Bury College in early 2020 and the Industry Placements team were very informative and supportive in both our concerns and growth plans and we gained the confidence to sign up for two new kickstart employees. The recruitment was well informed and organised. We have been able to give two bright young adults employment whilst also ensuring they have training and development not only relevant to their job role with us but that can be transferable should they move in the future. The progress in both individuals so far is extremely positive.”