More than 100 people went back in time recently to celebrate the 15th birthday of industrial specialist MET Recruitment.
The Dudley-based company, which provides temporary and permanent staff for manufacturing clients, took over the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) to mark the big anniversary alongside staff, clients, suppliers and long-term partners.
Employees Salli Gage, Stephanie Guest and Stella Wakeham swapped their day jobs to become the ‘Darling Buds of MET’ for one night only, performing a host of wartime and 1950s British classics, whilst guests were able to enjoy a pint at the restored Elephant & Castle pub, award-winning fish and chips and a walk down memory lane with several traditional shops staying open.
Founder Robin Tong also used the evening’s celebrations to reinforce the firm’s commitment to the local area with the MET Charitable Trust set to meet its target of raising £5000 for a host of charities, including Darlaston Town Football Club’s Food Bank – launched in memory of Leon Taylor who sadly passed away in 2021.
All employees have also been given a day’s paid ‘volunteer leave’ that they can use to make a difference to a community group or a cause close to their heart.
“We wanted the Black Country Living Museum party to be a focal point for our 15th birthday celebrations and to say a big thank you to all our staff, our suppliers and our customers – some of whom have been with us since day one,” explained Robin, who started MET Recruitment on his own in a shared office next to Den’s Diner on the Pensnett Trading Estate.
“It was fantastic to get everyone involved in a fun and different setting, celebrating the best of the Black Country and, importantly, discussing what we will be doing going forward to support charities who need our help.”
He continued: “This will include raising money through a series of events, it could be volunteering like we did at the BCLM to help with the new street, or it could be donating some of our office space to help charities deliver vital local services.
“We are passionate about the place we all call home and have invested over £500,000 in the last three years into refurbishing our Dudley HQ and our new Waterfront offices that looks after the permanent staffing side of the business. Importantly, we have also provided employment for more than 2500 people in that same period.”
Originally set up to supply staff to the mechanical and electrical trades, MET Recruitment has gone from three people in a small office to a 23-strong agency supporting nearly 100 clients.
The company’s charitable activities this year has seen it launch an in-house lottery that raises £72 per month, a £600 charity football match at Darlaston Town that supported Westminster School and the planting of 15 trees (for each year the business has been going) at Jasmine Road Community gardens.
Staff have also got involved in their own personal challenges, completing half marathons and the world’s largest inflatable course, painting football stands and holding last man standing sporting competitions, with a special quiz night set to be held in November.
Becky Tong, Social Media and Marketing Manager at MET Recruitment, commented: “We have strong links with a lot of community groups and one of those is with Dudley District Read Easy.
“This is a fabulous group of volunteer tutors who provide free and confidential one-to-one support for adults who want to learn to read or improve their literacy skills at their own pace.
“The group needed a private space where they could meet, so we agreed to donate our office space free of charge, as we believe reading is an essential skill and vital in helping people get into work and to stay connected to their communities.”
Nella Share, Commercial Director, concluded: “We like to do recruitment differently and the whole business is built on a ‘people first’ approach. Clients and candidates really respect this, and we firmly believe this is what drives our growth – here’s to the next 15 years!”
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