Employee buys Caerphilly car wash to save it from closure
Caerphilly man Chris Dickinson thought he was going to lose the first job he’d had in four years – until he took the plunge and bought the struggling business for himself.
Chris, 34, was unemployed for four years before landing a job at ARC car wash in the town last year with the help of employment and skills experts Working Links.
Things were going well until he found out the franchise could be closed down unless a new buyer could be found. Chris immediately started saving and a few months later bought the required number of shares to take control of the franchise.
And now he’s returned to Working Links to help add two new recruits to his business.
He said: “I’d been out of work for a number of years so I was looking to do anything. I’d previously done lots of odd-jobs so washing cars wasn’t a problem for me. I just wanted to get back to work.
“I started on 16 hours a week and built up my hours from there but then was gutted when my boss told me he was selling up and I could be out of a job. That’s when I started saving and eventually saved enough to buy my old boss out.”
And when Chris decided he needed some extra pairs of hands to help around the business he turned to Working Links, which delivers the UK government’s Work Programme to help long-term unemployed people back to work, for help.
Chris added: “Working Links supported me really well through my search for jobs. They gave me lots of confidence and made employers believe that just because I had been out of work for quite a while I was still worth hiring. So I knew there’d be others out there in the same situation that I was in.”
Chris has so far hired two recruits via Working Links and his business is going from strength to strength.
Debra Gall, Working Links consultant, said: “I could see Chris had potential and was motivated in returning to work. I focused on building Chris’ confidence and self-belief before putting him forward for a work trial with ARC.
“Due to this relationship Chris contacted me when he had taken over the franchise and was in a position to recruit staff as he knew he could rely on a good service from Working Links.”Follow @CaerphillyObsvr