Entrepreneurs’ efforts to employ a young ‘e-commerce exec’ on the government’s Kickstart scheme are becoming a ‘false-start’ because no-one can reach their rural offices near Gillingham and Shaftesbury.
E-commerce specialists Jim Chetwode and Rupert Brown are keen to fill the post at their business We are Chain in the picturesque village of Berwick St Leonard.
But they’ve had no success despite the position being listed at Salisbury JobCentre for six weeks, with the lack of public transport being blamed.
With We are Chain’s offices based in an attractive barn conversion in a village with a population of just 47 people, it brings a whole new meaning to ‘remote working’.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the Kickstart youth employment scheme last summer for young people aged 16 to 24.
Director Rupert said: ‘We’re in a beautiful part of the world with modern offices and we like to think we’re a good employer and fun to work with.
‘But the problem is we’re not getting any applications, which is incredibly frustrating and a great shame.
‘In the most part it appears due to poor public transport links so young people, particularly those aged 16 to 24 and potentially on Universal Credit, just cannot get here.
did think one young woman was interested but she later turned the job down because she lived 10 miles away in Gillingham in north Dorset and it wasn’t possible because of the transport.’
We are Chain is a specialist in e-commerce management which helps businesses promote and sell products and services online.
It also runs a digital marketplace called Designed in Dorset and launched its own online pet shop Dog, Dogs, Dogs during the lockdown to test out e-commerce strategies.
Jim said: ‘We think it’s an awesome opportunity to get involved in a fast-moving world and learn lots of exciting things.
‘Officially the job is for a customer services and warehouse administrator but in reality it’s more of a ecommerce executive or digital whizzkid role.
“It does need to be an office-based position so they can learn on the job. They just need to be motivated and willing to get stuck in, and maybe even show us how Tik Tok works!’
We are Chain is registered with Wiltshire Council for the Kickstart scheme and applications are being dealt with by Salisbury JobCentre.
Berwick St Leonard is 14 miles west of Salisbury and has a Grade-II listed church, dating to the 12th Century.
Candidates must apply via Salisbury JobCentre.
Visit https://wearechain.co.uk/ to find out more.