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From Kickstart To Pest Professional

Rebekah Simpson – Kickstart To Pest Professional

From Kickstart To Pest Professional for Rebekah Simpson. Here at Pest Solutions, we are proud to be an employer with a history of providing opportunities for young people in the local area looking to take their first steps into the exciting world of pest control.

Over the past couple of years, we have made several additions to both our service and office teams through the Government’s kickstart programme that provided funding to employers as an incentive to create jobs for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.

Rebekah Simpson Kickstart To Pest Professional - Pest Solutions

Unfortunately, the Government has now closed the scheme but our commitment to our ethos of social responsibility and pledge to provide chances for young people to thrive remains as strong as ever.

We have many other connections with local groups and schemes that help young people in their search for employment and one of those that has proven a major success in recent times is the Rangers Foundation.

Now a fully qualified Pest Technician, Rebekah Simpson joined us at Pest Solutions after meeting with company Director Chris Cagienard who appeared as a guest speaker as part of the Ready for Employment course hosted by the Rangers Foundation to help 18-24 year olds seeking employment.

Following a successful 6-month initial Kickstart contract, Rebekah has taken to life as a pest technician like a duck to water and is highly acclaimed by customers and colleagues alike.

We hope to continue our proud ever-growing history of successfully hiring exciting young talents such as Rebekah through the Rangers Foundation and other similar community groups.

We are committed to fulfilling our duty when it comes to social corporate responsibility, but this is only a small part of why we are so keen to engage in projects such as this.

The biggest reason is simply that we have discovered that there is so much talent out there just waiting to be discovered that can help our company go from strength to strength.

Rangers Foundation Ready for Employment Scheme?

The Rangers Charity Foundation are a not-for-profit organisation founded by Rangers Football Club that aims to tackle inequalities, show compassion to those in need, and provide opportunities for people of all ages.

They contribute to a wide range of fantastic projects worldwide with a particular focus on causes close to their heart right here in Glasgow.

Some of the organisations that the Rangers Foundation are currently working with include:

  • Glasgow City Mission
  • Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity
  • Age Scotland
  • Armed Forces and veterans related charities
  • UNICEF
  • Local food banks

The Foundation also organises a number of community programmes aimed at tackling issues such as addiction, health issues, and a lack of employment opportunities.

Ready for Employment

One such programme is the Ready for Employment course. This programme aims to improve the job prospects of local people aged 18-24 who face significant barriers to employment.

During the course, participants undertake a number of modules and SQA qualifications including CV Building, Communication Skills, Interview Techniques, and Employer Expectations.

With close relationships between the foundation and local employers who provide talks, useful advice, and even potential training or job opportunities, the Ready for Employment course has a fantastic record of success. Many candidates progress either into college/ further training or in cases such as Rebekah’s, directly into employment.

Rebekah gives credit to this course for helping her to gain confidence in her own abilities, and says it helped her to see just how many skills she already possessed that could be transferred into a professional environment.

Speaking about her Ready for Employment experience Rebekah said:

“I feel like this course helped me get back out there, see the value in myself and be able to put it on paper. It helped me actually think about what I wanted from a job and where I could see myself in the future. It helped me see how many opportunities are out there if you know the right places to look.”

After attending the course, Rebekah was inspired and in a much better place to find employment.

Rebekah Simpson On Joining Pest Solutions

When Chris Cagienard, Managing Director of Pest Solutions gave a talk as a guest speaker on the course, Rebekah was inspired by his story of working his way up in the Pest Control industry.

Rebekah Simpson Kickstart To Pest Professional - Level 2 Award In Pest Management

Impressing Chris with her attitude and interest in the industry on the day, Rebekah soon followed up their chat by applying for a Trainee Pest Control Technician position with the company.

Rebekah had demonstrated all the drive and determination that we need to help grow our company even further and we are not afraid to invest time in training and mentoring those with such a great attitude.

Speaking to the Rangers Foundation shortly after Rebekah joined the company, Chris said.

“Young people interested in getting into the pest control industry are its future. There is work to do and lots to learn. But for a young person with the right attitude there is a wealth of opportunity.”

Rebekah is one of a growing number of young people and also females in the company. She is settling in well, making great progress in her training and is working towards achieving her RSPH Level 2 Award in Pest Management – the professional qualification that all BPCA registered pest control technicians must achieve.

“We expect that Rebekah will remain a part of the team at the end of her Kickstart placement and establish herself at Pest Solutions and in the industry.”

Well, months on, and Rebekah has done just that, achieving a very strong pass in her RSPH Level 2 Award in Pest Management, qualifying as a pest technician with flying colours and joining the company on a permanent basis.

Since joining us, we have only seen more of the tenacious attitude that so impressed Chris during their initial meeting.

Rebekah’s future as a pest controller came under threat shortly after joining us with her driving licence being revoked on health grounds after suffering a seizure as a result of a rare heart condition.

Through the company’s support, and mainly Rebekah’s hard work and dedication, she managed to get her licence reinstated and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Rebekah has now started working towards sitting the BPCA Level 3 Certified Advanced Technician qualification.

Kickstart Scheme Success

Whilst this scheme has been highly productive for us, and has translated into several full-time jobs for our new recruits, many companies saw the scheme as an opportunity to secure hard working staff without having to pay full-time salaries and had no intention of retaining them at the end of their 6-month kickstart contract.

Kickstart Scheme Success For Rebekah Simpson - Pest Solutions

Unless it is made clear at the outset to the candidate that this is going to be the case, we feel that this is an unethical way to go about things, especially in a world when young people are often made unrealistic promises that never materialise.

At Pest Solutions we only advertised kickstart placements that had the potential of a full-time employment at the end of it.

Of course, one of the major benefits of the Kickstart scheme was allowing candidates to get experience and employers to get an idea of if they would fit in at the company, but we have found that if you take a chance on a talented young individual, they will reward you more often than not.

We were disappointed to find that the Kickstart scheme was coming to an end but look forward to engaging with similar programmes in the future to help support young people into the workplace.

Our Commitment to Young People

Here at Pest Solutions, we know there is a wealth of young talent out there just waiting for the right opportunity to thrive.

Several members of our team, both office based and technicians out the field, have joined us through the Government’s Kickstart scheme and have gone on to become full-time members of staff once their initial 6-month Kickstart contract ended.

We also readily engage with other community projects such as the Rangers Foundation’s Ready for Employment course. Believing that as a member of the Glasgow business family it is important to take social responsibility and do our bit to tackle issues such as youth unemployment in the city.

We find that if you are willing to take a chance on someone with the right attitude and a determination to succeed, they normally reward you several times over and this has certainly been the case with many of the young people we currently employ.

Investing in youth has allowed us to grow dramatically in recent years with fresh minds always welcome at a company looking to buck the trend in an industry traditionally dominated by the over 50s.

Consider A Career In Professional Pest Control

Chris Cagienard, Pest Solutions Managing Director, knows from personal experience how being given a chance in the Pest Control industry can change someone’s life. At age 17 Chris first entered the pest control industry after a visit to the local jobcentre.

24 years on and Chris is now co-owner of one of the largest independent pest control companies in the whole of Scotland and is President of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA).

Chris is always looking for promising individuals to give the chance that he was given when looking for his first professional job.

If you are currently looking for employment, especially if you have a background in the sciences, why not consider a career in the pest control industry?

If there’s one thing that we can promise you it’s that no two days working in pest control will ever be the same and helping customers free themselves of often upsetting situations and free their property of pest problems can be extremely rewarding.

For science graduates, this is your chance to use your knowledge of animal and insect behaviour in a practical environment and with more and more information being discovered every single day, the opportunity for learning and career progression is endless.

It is not just service technicians working in the field that we have recruited through schemes such as Kickstart or the Ready for Employment course either, and there may be a role for you as part of our accounts or office team.

Even if there are no positions currently available with us, we have a huge number of connections within the pest control industry and would be happy to pass on your information to another responsible company who shares a similar ethos to us.

To apply for a role here at Pest Solutions, email Chris on chris@pestsolutions.co.uk.

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Brown Rats
(Rattus norvegicus)
Family – Muridae
AKA – Brown Rat, Common Rat, Norway Rat
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