Ten previously long-term unemployed people have found new jobs at a Co-operative Group store in Scotland through the government’s Work Programme.

The recruits were trained by employment advice company Ingeus, which delivers the Department for Work and Pensions’ Work Programme in seven regions across England and Scotland to help people get back to work.

One of the new recruits is ex-miner Denis McCrudden. The 58-year-old had been unable to find a job for five years, leaving him with depression. He is now working on the kiosk at The Co-op’s new store in Prestonpans.

“I was determined to get my life back on track but was frightened to even attend the Ingeus meetings at first,” he said. “I was soon given support with stress management and assertiveness and met people in similar situations to me. Gradually I found the confidence to apply for jobs and when my employment advisor suggested The Co-op vacancy, I gave it my best shot. I genuinely look forward to going into work now and can’t believe how much more happy and confident I feel.”

Four other long-term unemployed people have also been recruited at the Co-op’s new store in Kelso, Scotland.

Co-op operations manager Alan Gordon added: “Denis is a great example of how his hard work and our relationship with Ingeus can pay dividends for us all. Ingeus quickly found eligible candidates and saved us time and money not having to advertise. We recruited 10 valued colleagues.”