On Friday 25 June 2021 (also National Cream Tea Day) Twist Teas Founder Claire Ayres invited MP for Hitchin & Harpenden Bim Afolami to visit the Twist Teas offices, to mark the company’s employment of six young people as part of the government Kickstart Scheme.
“Bim actively champions local business and supports young people so we thought he would be the perfect guest to mark this milestone for our business. It was also a great opportunity for our new employees to give their feedback to Bim on the scheme so far,” said Claire.
Support for independent British businesses
Talking to Bim, who is championing business recovery across his constituency, Claire praised shoppers for wholeheartedly backing independent British businesses during the pandemic. “The nationwide support was a key factor in getting many independent British businesses through lockdowns. We are very grateful to our tea lovers who chose to buy their premium whole leaf tea from us online and, because Twist Teas are leaders in taste, they’ve kept on buying,” said Claire.
Kickstart win win
Twist Teas are pleased to be in a position to give back in a small way by contributing to the post pandemic recovery. The government grant means Twist can employ young people, teach them work life skills for their future, and grow our business.
Twist Teas created six roles especially for local young people at risk of long-term unemployment to provide them with valuable on the job experience and training opportunities, for example a CV bootcamp run by Foodchain Recruitment, so they can develop the skills necessary to progress into fulfilling careers.
As a Living Wage Accredited employer Twist Teas top up the government grant for all Kickstart employees to ensure that they’re paid the Real Living Wage during their placements with us.
High calibre recruits
Claire has been impressed by the exceptional calibre of the applicants. “Our new trainees have various career ambitions, but all of them are keen to gain invaluable sales and marketing experience which they know is vital to secure longer term work in their chosen industries. We hope that new business generated by the Kickstarters will grow turnover enough to create new permanent roles for staff.”
Improving the Kickstart Scheme
Bim had the opportunity to meet some of Twist Teas’ new sales and marketing staff and talked to them about their experiences. He was particularly interested in ways to help improve the scheme. “I’m working with the Chancellor to make the Kickstart Scheme easier for both businesses and young people to access so welcome any feedback. I was told today by the Twist Teas team that Kickstart candidates often struggle to get to interviews as transport can be expensive, and daily travel costs can also be prohibitive. This sounds like an opportunity for the government to step in and help – it was a very useful discussion.”
Working at Twist Teas
24 year old Jess Gray told Bim how much she loves the opportunity to get sales experience in such a friendly environment. “I’m learning about researching and contacting suitable leads, telephone technique and establishing rapport with the people I speak to. We also have a weekly office challenge to see how many sales leads and conversions we can generate, so there is healthy competition, helping us to learn from each other,” she said.
Tea for the environment
Bim also has a priority to protect the environment and he was very pleased to note how Twist Teas is minimising their business impact on the planet, without compromising on delivering the best possible tasting tea to tea lovers. As his visit coincided with National Cream Tea Day, Bim was invited to taste a range of fresh, whole leaf teas – served with strawberries and scones (of course!) – announcing his favourite was Twenty-Four-Seven and taking home a surprise caddy to his wife Hettie.
You can read more about Bim’s visit to Twist Teas in the Herts Advertiser