A Birmingham business which specialises in providing work and training for disadvantaged people has expanded.
Crossmatch Solutions, formed in 2003 by Julie Birch and Simon Frend, works with public sector partners to provide employment information, advice and guidance to a wide group of people from the Birmingham and Solihull area.
In 2007, to take their support for this often neglected work force to a new level, the company opened a fork lift truck and warehousing training business at their Aston-based premises, with the help of NatWest Business Banking.
And now the company is expanding by opening a new centre on the Hawkesley Estate in Kings Norton. Crossmatch employs 14 people, and has helped 162 people get back into the workforce so far.
Managing partner Julie Birch said: “Simon and I are really excited about our new Kings Norton site and the way that our business has expanded over the last six months. The South of Birmingham has a very high unemployment rate and through our connections with the Learning and Skills Council, Nextstep Connexions, Birmingham City Council and Jobcentre Plus we will be able to help many local people with barriers to employment and provide a valuable work force to local businesses.
“Our main objective is to delver Learning and Skill Council modules and to source quality training for those who have difficulty finding work because of their past. We are also using our links with local colleges to find the right courses to match client’s needs and ambitions.
“Whilst the colleges are able to meet a lot of our clients needs, we were aware that many wanted warehousing, and specifically fork lift training, but this was not available locally. With this in mind the obvious solution was to set up our own training facility and it really has taken off. We are also delighted to announce that we have just been accredited by Investors in People.”
Ms Birch added: “To move forward from the great success we have already had, both Simon and I knew we had to become a Community Interest Company, so we could work towards community benefit rather than for private advantage.
“We believe we have achieved this and we really would like to thank everybody who has helped us to build Crossmatch Solutions into the business it is today, especially Birmingham City Council, Jobcentre Plus, local colleges and our NatWest business manager Gill Bestwick. Without this help and support this would not have been possible.”
Gill Bestwick, NatWest’s business manager, said: “I am absolutely delighted to see how well Julie and Simon are doing after all of their hard work and patience. They really are providing a fantastic opportunity for those with barriers to employment and I know that this latest project will help them to help even more people. Business ventures like Crossmatch Solutions Limited are vital to the UK’s economy and NatWest is there to help in every way it can.”