newspaper deliverer, joseph jamesAs part of business we operate a home newspaper delivery service like thousands of other newsagents. We staff the operation with school-age boys and girls as we like to give them the opportunity of learning about the economics of the work environment. Most of these young people go off to university when they leave school, but a small number don’t.

Last September one of our deliverers who had been working for us for five years with a great record of reliability was struggling to find a job or even know what he wanted to do. We fortunately had a vacancy for a full time position so offered him the job.

To say that the two years of A level education had been a good experience for him would be an overstatement. I can best describe him as being ‘zombiefied’. He felt his three A Levels of low grades meant that he was a failure and he lacked ‘get up and go’. To wake him up we gave him first two, then three paper rounds to do before his day’s work, all done by bike. It did the trick and soon after the New Year he was back to one round and now he has been reliieved of that duty.

Around the shop he works hard and is good with customers, but until recently he was reluctant to do anything that was like ‘school work’. I understood his feelings and have given him a great deal of one-to-one training. Recently I felt that it was time to test the water and introduce him to the Basic Food Hygiene training. We have a program on our back office computer for this purpose so our staff can get this qualification.

After giving our latest assistant a deadline to get through this and encouraging him along the way he has now completed the final test successfully and I think this will be a big self esteem builder for him. Now what next for him? NVQ2, customer service maybe?