Wren Kitchens has been given the thumbs-up by former Kingstown Furniture employees after they were offered a lifeline from the number one kitchen retailer four months ago.
The Hull-based furniture manufacturers suddenly closed this March and as Wren continues to rapidly expand, it reached out to those affected. Named the best place to work in the UK, Wren has since successfully employed over 30 former Kingstown employees with transferable attributes and skills.
Wren is going from strength-to-strength as it has recently announced plans of opening a £120 million factory in Barton-upon-Humber creating up to 1,200 jobs. This compliments its existing manufacturing sites in Barton-upon-Humber, Scunthorpe and Howden.
Wren Kitchens Machine Operator, Gary Parkins, is enjoying his new challenge at the Scunthorpe-based facility. “I plan to work at Wren until I retire as it’s a challenging and rewarding job,” said Gary, 48, from Hull.
“I worked at Kingstown for 17 years so I’m thankful to be back in employment really quickly. Wren has a fantastic attitude supporting and employing those who had lost their jobs. I’m proud to work for Wren and it’s great to be part of such a forward-thinking company.”
Over 500 staff work at Wren’s 500,000 sq.ft. Scunthorpe facility based at Foxhills Industrial Estate. It’s a major cog in the operation of manufacturing 2,000 kitchens a week for customers across the UK. It contains a specialist 230-metre-long paint line – the only one of its kind in the world.
Adam Whiteley, 32, from Hull, is also a Machine Operator at Wren’s Scunthorpe factory, he added: “It’s not every day that you get made redundant and then find another job in the same week!
“I worked at Kingstown for eight years, so I really appreciate what Wren did for me – it’s a great place to work with a real sense of camaraderie.”
To educate Wren employees on new equipment and safety procedures, it’s introduced a new training academy which is a simulated factory setting packed full of equipment. Every week it enhances the knowledge of around 200 people.
Allan Baldwin works in the Barton-upon-Humber factory as a sprayer. He previously worked at Kingstown for 17 years. “It’s great that I can continue to do the job I love,” said Allan.
“I was only out of work for three weeks then Wren thankfully took me on. I’ve settled into the role really quickly as I know the job well and enjoy it.”
Wren Kitchens Manufacturing and Logistics Director, Rafal Klimek, concluded: “Turning the futures around for those who were made redundant is a real positive feat for most importantly their livelihoods and for our business too, as we welcome some real talents to the Wren family.
“As we continue to expand at a rapid pace, our manufacturing team is key to the success of our business, as their hard work and dedication ensures our complex operations are efficient and to the highest standards.”
Wren’s manufacturing facilities have recently achieved an official stamp of approval by the worldwide standard-setting body – International Standards Organisation (ISO) – for streamlined performance, exemplary environmental policies and beneficial employee welfare initiatives.