It's time for tea as MP Bim visits Harpenden company

MP Bim Afolami visits Twist Teas in Harpenden.

MP Bim Afolami visits Twist Teas in Harpenden. - Credit: Penny Bird

A Harpenden-based tea blending company is doing its bit for young people as part of the post-pandemic recovery.

Twist Teas has taken advantage of the government's Kickstart scheme which is helping young people from our district enter employment.

The initiative is aimed at 18 to 24 year old students in receipt of Universal Credit who are looking for work and experience in a variety of roles. The company, which is located at Pollards Farm in Kinsbourne Green, has already taken on five staff and is looking for more.

Daniel Salter from St Albans in one of the new recruits. He said he loves the friendly environment and how much questions are welcomed, “I’m learning a lot," he added.

Founder Claire Ayres explained that Twist Teas has created roles especially for local young people at risk of long term unemployment: “We’ve also set up training opportunities, for example a CV bootcamp, and real work experience talking to customers, so they can develop the skills necessary to progress into fulfilling careers."

The company is a Living Wage Accredited employer and will be topping up the government grant for all Kickstart employees to ensure that they are paid the Real Living Wage during their placements.

Twist Tea began trading in 2017 and were enjoying steady growth in sales to food and beverage outlets when the pandemic closed down the hospitality sector overnight. Without missing a beat, founders Claire and Nicky Kavanaugh pivoted their business model to focus on selling their popular tea offering directly to consumers, managing to hold their own despite unprecedented circumstances.

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On Friday the company invited Harpenden MP Bim Afolami to visit their headquarters and meet the six young people employed under the 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.

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