News



New Chief Executive Nigel Lewis joins CLARITY Employment for Blind People

“I am delighted that Nigel Lewis has decided to join CLARITY Employment for Blind People as its new CEO. Nigel combines an excellent track record in both the corporate world and the third sector with a deep dedication to the cause. In the past ten years as CEO, Nigel has successfully modernised and expanded AbilityNet to make it a major provider of advice on computing and disability.

“Nigel’s appointment follows the departure of Jeremy Robinson who during his 12 years of successful and devoted service as CEO has overseen a number of critical changes for the organisation, including the move to new factory premises in Highams Park and the launch of the new The Soap Cọ brand. During this time, he has continuously made a significant difference to the lives of the blind and otherwise disabled working for CLARITY.

“With Nigel taking over the lead, I am confident that we will see continued success both commercially and in meeting the underlying charitable objectives to further establish CLARITY as one of the UK’s leading social enterprises. We are looking forward to a new era of development under Nigel’s sensitive and energetic leadership,” Judith Mellor, Acting Chair, CLARITY Employment for Blind People

RECRUITING – Head of Manufacturing

Clarity Factory floor

Job Advertisement

Head of  Manufacturing: Ambitious and growing Social Enterprise, Multiple Brands, B2C & B2B

Full Time
Salary: Competitive
Location: Highams Park, London
Closing:  Friday the 22nd of June, 2018
To apply send your CV and cover letter to: recruitment@clarity.org.uk

We are looking for a highly capable Head of Manufacturing to oversee the end-to-end operations of our London based semi-automated manufacturing site.

We are a not-for-profit organisation that provides training and work opportunities for people who are visually impaired, have disabilities or are otherwise disadvantaged. This is achieved through the manufacturing of a range of toiletries and cleaning products and a supportive workplace which develops the skills, confidence and independence of our workforce. Socially, our charity is a leading example of ‘social enterprise’ and ‘business for good’ in action with all revenue staying within the organisation to create more jobs and strengthen our impact in the future.

Our core brands are CLARITY, The Soap Cọ, BECỌ (launching June 2018), and The Soap Cọ Keswick – a traditional workshop in the Lake District. We also produce white labelled, co-created and contract manufactured products. We supply a range of businesses including corporates, retailers, restaurants and hotels.

The more CLARITY – The Soap Cọ products we sell, the more people with disabilities we can train and employ, and since 1854 we have supported 1000s of people with disabilities through employment and training. We have multiple routes to market, strong product brands, a loyal consumer base and a blossoming business client base. Commercially, our business is in a strong growth phase, hoping to take us from a £3m to a £4-5m in the next 24 months – this summer we are entering national supermarkets across the UK. A highly capable Head of Manufacturing is thereby vital in underpinning our ambitious commercial and social goals.

In this role, you will lead and motivate an operations team of roughly 60 people – 80% of our staff have a disability or long-term health condition. You will report directly to the CEO and sit on the SLT.

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Overseeing the end-to-end operations of our London based semi-automated production and manufacturing site including:
    • Strategic sourcing of materials and components with key suppliers.
    • Supplier engagement and relationship building.
    • Planning and implementation of production schedules to meet customer requirements – including inventory holdings and stock level management.
    • Forward planning of labour and machine capacities to meet customer demand volumes.
  • Client engagement and relationship building.
  • Managing the technical development of existing and new CLARITY – The Soap Cọ Products.
  • Ensuring best practice health and safety and quality controls: including ISO 9001 and other best practice accreditations.
  • Providing leadership and upskilling team members.
  • Working at the strategic level with the senior leadership team.

You will have at least seven years’ experience of managing a manufacturing / production environment ideally within the soap and toiletries market. You will have a solid understanding of financial and operational issues being able to demonstrate good business acumen, IT and project skills. You must be motivated by working in a business with a strong social purpose and completely driven to achieve excellent results and make a big difference.

To be a successful applicant you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Minimum of 7 years manufacturing management.
  • Experience within the soap and toiletries sector (or similar).
  • Lean Manufacturing experience.
  • Experience of purchasing / supply chain management.
  • Experience of low to medium output of product.
  • Demonstrate experience of lead time reductions.
  • Experience of workshop activities including general machining.
  • Experience of Production Control and ERP system and stores / stock management.
  • Excellent people management skills, having previously held people management roles.
  • Excellent communication skills, commercial and pragmatic approach.
  • Commercially literate with the ability to balance commercial and charitable needs.
  • Strong organisational skills with the ability to multi-task, prioritise workloads and meet deadlines.
  • IT skills: Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint at an intermediate to advanced level. Experience of ERP and CRM software is desirable.
  • Passion for social change and feeling of urgency to act today rather than tomorrow.
  • The ability to operate with gravitas at a senior level within the organisation.

 

A bit more about the role and us:

We welcome applicants with and without disabilities and are able to offer individualised working arrangements. CLARITY – The Soap Cọ is a great place to work – we are an equal opportunity employer and are determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

You will be required to commute to other CLARITY – The Soap Cọ offices and travel throughout the UK and abroad when necessary. There will on occasion be a requirement to work extended hours and flexibility will be required.

Come and join us at the forefront of social enterprise manufacturing, bringing your commercial acumen to create vital jobs.

Discussing the Potential

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The Supported Business Alliance unveils the potential of Supported Business at the BASE 2014 conference.

CLARITY is a founding member of the Supported Business Alliance and in September 2014, attended the annual BASE 2014 conference in Leicester with other founding members to demonstrate the value of Supported Businesses within the wider supported employment sector.

The Alliance hosted an interactive workshop for delegates at the conference, the UK’s largest conference for disability employment, and was pleased to have to bring in more chairs to accommodate the large number of people wanting to attend the session.

The workshop opened with a reflection on the term ‘innovation’ and what it meant to the group and with this notion in mind, the workshop introduced the context in which Supported Businesses have evolved over the past few years. Although protected place funding for disabled employees at Supported Businesses has not changed for over 10 years, the Alliance highlighted how there was a preference amongst policy makers for a ‘menu of disability employment support’, as outlined in the controversial Sayce report Getting In, staying in and getting on.

Questions from the audience came thick and fast as the Alliance moved on to discuss the use of the Intermediary Labour Market (ILM) employment model within Supported Businesses. The ILM model enables disabled people to enter a Supported Business on a short term contract through the Work Choice programme, allowing the person to gain valuable work experience in a commercial environment and develop their career aspirations with support from the business and Prime Providers who facilitate the Work Choice contracts with businesses on the ground. Lots of delegates were keen to learn more about the governance of Supported Businesses and how the ILM model is implemented and managed on the front line.

The members of the Alliance outlined the reasons for forming the group and shared with delegates their vision for the group’s future. They were keen to hear from attendees about suggestions for future activity and the obstacles and opportunities that could help and hinder the Alliance.

Looking north, the Alliance demonstrated how the Scottish government has been working with Scottish Supported Businesses very closely, awarding procurement contracts to these businesses and in turn, supporting the employment of disabled people across Scotland. Alistair Kerr, a long term advocate of Supported Businesses from Momentum Skills UK¸ discussed in more depth the Scottish experience of working with the Scottish Government and conveyed a healthy partnership model that we could adopt in England and Wales.

During the two day conference, the Alliance also exhibited a stall to reach out to all conference delegates and engaged with everyone from DWP members through to frontline support workers.

Looking to the future, the Alliance is now working towards a Supported Business showcase event for November 2014 and will be working together to submit a second paper to DWP to champion procurement opportunities between government and Supported Businesses.

If you would like to find out more about the Supported Business Alliance or become a member, please do get in touch with the group here or visit www.discoverthepotential.org

The Supported Business Alliance is a “collective voice” of supported businesses in the UK and is supported by BASE.