One of Edinburgh’s largest retail parks has seem a boom in employment due to a recent expansion, new brands being offered to shoppers and longer opening hours.
Over 1,000 job seekers found employment in the shops, restaurants and cinema at Fort Kinnaird in the south-east of Edinburgh.
The recruitment and skills centre (RSC) at the complex also saw more than a million job seekers viewing employment opportunities via its online facilities in the same timescale.
Recent new arrivals boosting customer numbers and jobs include the Odeon cinema, clothing range Fat Face and Nandos restaurant.
Primark, the retail clothing and homeware range, is due to open at the site later this year.
The RSC has worked with 120 businesses in the past six months, and is liaising with 30 employers to fill over 600 vacancies in the run up to the Christmas period.
The RSC is a unique private, public and third sector partnership between British Land (Fort Kinnaird) and the Joined Up For Business Partners who include Capital City Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council (including the Business Gateway), East Lothian Council,Edinburgh Cyrenians, Jobcentre Plus (DWP), and Skills Development Scotland.
It supports employers and jobseekers and reaches a wide target market due to innovative use of the new interactive website and social media.
As well as sharing information about vacancies, it provides support to jobseekers in developing skills, completing forms and preparing CVs.
The RSC also gives on-site training and meeting facilities, resulting in businesses at Fort Kinnaird training more than 460 staff this
Liam Smith, regional centre manager at Fort Kinnaird, said: “This has been a very exciting year for Fort Kinnaird, welcoming a number of new
leading brands as well as the first major cinema serving Edinburgh east and East Lothian for many years.
“We have listened to customers and implemented longer opening hours than any other Edinburgh shopping centre to provide more flexibility and choice for the busy modern consumer.
“This is fantastic for jobs and the local economy, and we have been delighted to work with the on-site Recruitment & Skills Centre to ensure businesses are supported and jobseekers are given the help they need to start their careers in retail.”
Councillor Frank Ross, Edinburgh City Council’s economy convener, said: “Expanding Edinburgh’s economy through the ‘Strategy for Jobs’ is one of our top priorities and the Recruitment and Skills Centre (RSC) at Fort Kinnaird Shopping Centre is helping us do this.
“By focusing on the needs of local employers and matching the skills of local people, we’re boosting employability and tackling joblessness head on.”
Andy Nowell, manager of Nando’s at the centre, said: “Suitable candidates were filtered for us, providing a broader base of candidates without having to sift through every application. The use of their rooms for interviewing and holding recruitment days really saved us the headache and finances of carrying out the recruitment process, which can be pretty rigorous.”
Ewan Aitken, chief executive of Cyrenians said: “Edinburgh Cyrenians are delighted to be the key managing partner operating the Recruitment and Skills Centre at Fort Kinnaird on behalf of the Joined up For Jobs Business Partnership.
“As part of our Work and Skills support offer to jobseekers to move into work, we not only assist them by tackling the barriers to employment by offering skills and training, to help our clients both find work, we also help them stay in employment and away from benefits. The RSC is a key project in our portfolio of support in assisting Cyrenians to achieve this aim”