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Kickstart Scheme Success For Rebekah Simpson

Rebekah Simpson has been one of Pest Solutions Kickstart success stories and a fantastic example of dedication by a young member of the pest control industry. She joined Pest Solutions last year, coming into the company via the Kickstarter scheme, and quickly became a valued member of the Pest Solutions team.

From being unemployed to a professional career in the pest control industry, and even in the face of further unexpected problems, Rebekah overcame major obstacles to keep her position and advance further in the industry.

Rebekah Overcame Challenges To Achieve Career Success

Rebekah joined the Pest Solutions team through the Kickstart scheme and Ready for Employment course. She stood out to Pest Solutions Managing Director and Field Biologist Chris Cagienard at a talk for the Rangers Foundation ‘Ready for Employment’ scheme and impressed Chris with her enthusiasm. She immediately applied for a position, successfully joined the team, and quickly excelled in her role – but had to overcome serious obstacles put in her way and often outside of her control. Ultimately, Rebekah went above and beyond to secure her position, going from a long stretch of unemployment to fighting to have her driver’s licence reinstated when revoked on health grounds.

Through her dedication and support from the company, Rebekah managed to get her licence reinstated, allowing her secure full time, permanent employment and a career in the pest control industry.

Like many people who find themselves in the Pest Control Industry, Rebekah hadn’t intended on this kind of career path. She had lost her previous job as a bus driver on health grounds; after suffering a seizure (due to a rare congenital heart condition), Rebekah was deemed unfit to drive or work and was made redundant. Despite making a huge effort to try and find new work, Rebekah found herself unable to find employment for six months – a serious drain on her energy and mental health. Despite this, Rebekah continued to make a serious effort to find work. Her break came when she met Pest Solutions via the Ready for Employment course.

On her work coach’s advice, Rebekah took up a position on the Ready for Employment Course at the Rangers Foundation. The course was helpful and offered several benefits, including access to emergency first aid and mental health training and, more importantly, opportunities to meet with potential employers. As well as being a serious boost to Rebekah’s morale, the course ended up putting her in contact with Pest Solutions.

The Rewarding Career Of A Pest Controller

Chris Cagienard is the Director and Field Biologist at Pest Solutions and was one of several speakers at who came down to talk at the Ready for Employment course. Chris was there to give an idea to the jobseekers at Ready for Employment about what a career in the pest control industry was like. Chris had himself gotten started in the industry early on and had successfully worked his way through the ranks. Chris gave a talk to Rebecca and the other young job seekers about the opportunities offered by work to young people in the Pest Control Industry – and the kind of long-term careers and opportunities it can offer to people.

Rebekah was immediately interested in the work described and got speaking to Chris – who was impressed by Rebekah’s enthusiasm. As a result, Rebekah submitted her CV to Pest Solutions for work as a trainee pest technician via the Kickstart Scheme. Rebekah did very well in her interview, and it was recognised immediately that with the right support, she had excellent potential for a career going forward in the pest control industry.

As a result, Rebekah was brought into the team as part of a six-month Kickstarter placement.

Rebekah Is Excelling As a Young Pest Professional

Rebekah immediately fitted into the team as a trainee technician and spent six months with Pest Solutions developing the appropriate skills as a trainee technician. Making an exceptional amount of progress very quickly with Pest Solutions. Rebekah shared the same hardworking ethos and passion for the industry as the rest of the team and had the same important independent skillset. She quickly advanced through her training, keeping up her pace with her other colleagues, even those on the company Graduate Scheme. During this time, Rebekah worked in both commercial and domestic pest control –and excelled in the role.

Rebekah completed her six months and had impressed the team greatly, so was offered a full-time contract with the team, which she accepted.

This situation was a serious and fantastic turnaround for Rebekah, who went from a long period of unemployment to beginning a highly successful career in the pest control industry. This is an excellent example of the opportunities offered by the industry for young people.

Unfortunately, after only a week into full employment, Rebekah faced a potentially serious setback.

She was informed that her driving licence had been revoked on health grounds because of the seizure she had suffered previously working as a bus driver. While Rebekah should have been informed of this sooner, processing was delayed due to the Covid19 pandemic. This immediately formed a serious obstacle for Rebekah – as Pest Controllers must be able to drive as the job requires a company van to move from customer to customer. This would be a serious setback for anyone,  but even more so for Rebekah, who had worked exceptionally hard to secure the position in the first place.

Despite this, Rebekah was not deterred and fully committed to continuing her career as a pest controller and team member of Pest Solutions. Furthermore, Rebekah had the full backing of the management team and her colleagues.

Pest Solutions Managing Director Chris Cagienard, who has the same rare heart condition, was able to understand that this condition would not stop her from being able to drive safely. Rebekah’s skill and dedication to the job were widely recognised, and it was seen as deeply unfair that she would lose out on the opportunity. While she couldn’t continue her work at the time, she made a major effort to have her licence reinstated – intent to secure the role she had already worked for months in.

Overcoming Obstacles To Forge A Career

Rebekah made a huge effort to resolve the situation. This included contacting MP Kirsten Oswald, who connected with the DVLA and kept her updated on the situation. Rebekah also made an effort to contact Mims David, who was heavily involved with the Kickstart Scheme and helped provide important advice on who to contact and search for information to help resolve the situation.

In the end, Rebekah’s persistence was rewarded. In March, Rebekah had her driving licence was reinstated. This ensured she could return to work and resume her already successfully developing career.

Kickstart Awards Nomination for Overcoming Challenges

Rebekah’s story is an excellent example of the dedication the industry needs. Rebekah’s high level of commitment in securing her position and working to maintain it in the face of a serious setback. For this reason, the company has nominated Rebekah for the Kickstart Awards in the “Overcoming” category.

Rebekah has continued to thrive in the industry, keeping close pace with the rest of her colleagues in the Pest Solutions graduate scheme. Rebekah is already preparing to sit her RSPH Level 2 Award in Pest Management within three months, an essential professional qualification for any pest control technician.

She has come incredibly far during her time at Pest Solutions and has developed the groundwork for a long and successful career. Rebekah had this to say about her work and her experience:

“As for how I feel about the job, it is amazing. The amount of support I received from the team during this time was very reassuring. Chris was outstanding in terms of keeping up to date with my situation and caring about how I was coping mentally. I still feel like I am living an absolute dream with this job, the amount of knowledge I have gained in a short period of time through all the online courses made available to me is amazing. I have never felt so welcomed into a job and had such a caring team around me. It feels great to work for a company that cares about its customers as much as the team.”

Pest Solutions is proud of the support it provided to Rebekah during this time. The team recognised the skills she possesses and the potential career she would be able to develop and was eager to give her all the support possible to ensure she maintained her career path. Ultimately this proved to be a major success for Pest Solutions and Rebekah.

Rebekah is a fantastic example of a young success story in the Pest Control industry and an excellent example of dedication in the industry.

ARTICLE BY Chris Cagienard

Managing Director

Chris Cagienard leads a busy life in the pest control industry, as well as being in the 'driving seat' of Pest Solutions, he's also the Vice President of the BPCA. With over 20 years of pest control experience, Chris's insight and advice is second to none.

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