Tobias Recruitment Group CIC is essentially a recruitment business. We’re less than a month old and specialise in the placement of permanent and contract staff into the engineering and facilities management industries. The difference with us is that we were specifically launched as a social enterprise!
Our founder Leon Coates has worked within the recruitment industry for nearly 15 years and during that time, he noticed that wherever or whoever he worked for, it was all about profits. So, with the onset of Covid-19, he decided it’s time to give back rather than take out – and Tobias Recruitment Group CIC was formed.
Before starting the business, we thought long and hard about how we can give back and the areas that need the help most and, as a result, came up with a three-year plan to introduce one key service each year which we feel are urgently needed.
The first project that we hope to launch is a completely free mental health clinic where people can come to feel safe and even have the chance to speak with a fully qualified mental health professional when they need it most. We’ve found, both through our own experience and from speaking with several local people, that access to mental health support is severely lacking and the support that is available, takes sometimes years to access. By the end of year one, we aim to have a space dedicated for local people who are struggling with everyday life to feel welcomed and safe and whenever possible, have access to professional counsellors and mental health professionals. If the venture is successful, we’d love to open additional centres in multiple locations around Plymouth and Devon to continue supporting those who need it.
Our year two project is an elderly support programme where older people can have access to a variety of services and networking events, such as coffee mornings, low impact fitness classes, light gardening and so on. Inspired by a charity close to our founders heart, this programme aims to provide the elderly with a place to come and feel welcome, whilst having the opportunity to meet other people in a similar age range with similar interests, in the hope that they can gain new friends, join in on activities and expand their local support network. We’ve found that in more remote parts of the countryside, some elderly people become isolated and without support which is something we hope to change.
Raw ability does not always easily translate into personal career success. For those who find education more difficult due to disability, or make poor early choices, evidence of employment capability can be lacking or inconsistent. In a competitive job market this can lead to applications being overlooked and a dispiriting negative spiral of rejection, as lack of experience then becomes yet another barrier to employment.
At Ground Up Digital, we will help our trainees to break free of this spiral. By focusing on intrinsic capability rather than employment history, we will offer employment to people who may never been offered a proper chance to show what they can achieve. Our trainees will progress through a learning programme from the basics of digital marketing to an advanced, practical understanding of how online promotion can be used to drive a business’s success.
Ground Up Digital is not a training company, but an active business. Trainees will learn on the job, ensuring that they build not only specialist knowledge but also the practical, business-focused, hands-on skills that make a robust basis for a longer-term career. They will be paid accordingly, at Living Wage from day one – we are an accredited Living Wage employer.
As they become able to work autonomously, they will be able to choose if they want to take the transferable skills they have built up to a different employer, either in the same field or a different area. Or, they can stay with us and advance their career as an experienced member of the Ground Up family, with the option to potentially specialise further or train others themselves.
In year three, we intend to fully fund, or at least subsidise, a day nursery for struggling local families to access. Childcare is such an expensive and difficult service to access and some families simply can’t afford it, which restricts their ability to gain employment and in turn, affects the local economy. We hope that launching this service will allow struggling families the opportunity to break down those barriers and re-join the workforce, which will ultimately contribute to local spending and boost the Plymouth economy.
Whilst the three objectives above are long-term goals, we’ve also pledged to offer half a day of our time each week to help the local job centre with teaching employability skills to unemployed Plymouth residents – things such as CV writing, interview techniques, presentation and communication skills etc. With Covid-19 affecting so many, we feel it’s important to help lighten the load of our local job centre by offering training and development to those who need it.