Double award celebration for city job agency

First Choice recruitment, Ann Lockwood
First Choice recruitment, Ann Lockwood

A recruitment company which helps young people into work has won two awards in a business competition.

First Choice Recruitment, on Silver Street, won the prizes in the Best of the Best Business Awards.

The company, which was set up 21 years ago, won the Best Corporate Social Responsibility category for Wakefield Works, a campaign to help under 25s find jobs.

First Choice, which has offices in Wakefield and Leeds, also won in the Best Business category after increasing its turnover by more than 10 per cent.

The judges said: “With 21 years of experience behind it, First Choice Recruitment coped brilliantly with the challenges of the recent recession.

“First Choice Recruitment was a clear winner for responding quickly to the growing problem of rising unemployment among the under 25s.

“To help get jobs for young people, it launched the Wakefield Works campaign in 2012.

“All it asks employers to do is sign up to the campaign and offer a minimum of one week’s work for one person.

“Overall, a really worthwhile and timely initiative.”

Wakefield Works has provided work experience placements for around 30 young people, and nine have gone on to find full time employment.

Anne Lockwood, who runs the company with Andy Turner, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won, particularly because it’s for something that is so worthwhile.

“It is very hard for young people to find work at the moment and the campaign is really helping.

“Wakefield Works has been growing every year and we are getting more and more local employers involved.”

First Choice recruits people into positions including customer service, law, distribution, engineering and driving.

The Best of the Best Business Awards is a national contest aimed at small companies which employ fewer than 20 people and have a turnover of less than £1m.