Robinson Manufacturing welcomes Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Robinson Manufacturing (RML) is delighted to have been selected for a Ministerial visit by The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions.

The visit, which was conducted virtually, explored the company’s participation in the government’s Kickstart scheme, designed to help young people into six-month job placements to help them develop employability skills.

The Minister met CEO Simon Kidney, as well as Head of Operations, Andreya Ashwell and Head of Production Oversight, Darren Cross, both of whom have been instrumental in setting up and running the Kickstart scheme within the business. They were joined by a selection of our Kickstart employees, who shared their experience of their placements and how they are finding their new roles.

“The Kickstarter scheme is proving very valuable to businesses and recruits alike as demonstrated through today’s call with Robinson Manufacturing, although we believe it has potential to achieve more,” according to RML’s CEO Simon Kidney. “We would like to add our voice to calls for direct government guidance to encourage people to go back into Covid-secure workplaces, which we believe would improve the uptake of this valuable scheme from the current levels. Part of the kickstarters’ education is about the work-place and those social, and life, skills needed to build up strong relationships and forge a career. This would also help address the mental health challenges that are faced with continuous working from home, which is also currently denying many of the opportunity to join the scheme.”

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said after her visit:

“It was a pleasure to meet the team at Robinson Manufacturing who are, like thousands of employers, investing in the next generation of talent by joining our flagship Kickstart scheme – which has so far created 120,000 jobs for young people.

“Employers like Robinson Manufacturing are providing young people up and down the country with the invaluable experience and training they need to help get their foot on the career ladder.

“As some of the hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic, young people are at the very heart of our Plan for Jobs, as we work to build back better and level up opportunity.”


Through the Kickstart scheme, RML originally hoped to identify some potential talent who would like to remain in the business as we continue to grow. This has most certainly been the case right across the business. From HR and Marketing through to operations, design and production, we have been really fortunate to be able to recruit some real talent into the business through the scheme, a fresh, young perspective that challenges us all in a very positive way.

And even for those who don’t stay with us past their six-month placement, we will have provided an opportunity for someone which might open a door for them elsewhere.

RML also has a long history of developing and promoting talent from within the business and the Kickstart scheme will be, for some of those who join us, a real long-term opportunity. Some of those recruited on the scheme have already found the opportunity to up their hours to full time, and we anticipate that some of them will be able to move into permanent roles with us when their time on the scheme is finished.

The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions

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