Consultant praised for her `exceptional’ commitment
PUBLISHED: 13:34 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 22 October 2018
An Ipswich recruitment consultant who played a crucial role in providing workers for an episode of the BBC’s DIY SOS The Big Build with Nick Knowles has picked up a major trade prize.
Irena Sabinskaite, who works at recruitment agency Jark Ipswich, collected the Consultant of the Year award at The Recruit Venture Group Awards, presented by TV impressionist Alistair McGowan at a ceremony in central London.
Miss Sabinskaite supported the DIY SOS team on a project in West Suffolk, for a husband and father who had become disabled and needed adaptive work to his house to help him in his day-to-day life. She was instrumental in finding construction workers who were willing to give up their time for free to work on the home. Irena and colleagues were on and off site throughout the project, including through the weekend, to ensure the DIY SOS team could complete the build in time.
Irena has also had to face challenges of her own. She returned from maternity leave into a new role as a recruitment consultant in the construction team. The fact that she had no experience of construction or sales was challenge enough, but she also had English as a second language which provided an additional task to grapple with - especially in her new customer-facing sales role.
She took up the new role in January 2017, after a stint as a co-ordinator in the Jark Ipswich industrial team.
Jark Ipswich managing director Jamie Wingrave praised the “exceptional” impact Irena has had, breaking down the language barrier, and her lack of experience, to nearly double sales in the construction team in her first year.
He said: “I nominated Irena because no matter what the challenge in front of her, she has taken each one in her stride. Coming back from maternity leave into a sales role which she had no previous experience of, and in a very people-facing job where having English as a second language brings additional challenges, would be a big ask for anyone.
“But not only has she overcome these challenges, she has excelled. Her work on DIY SOS was the icing on the cake, and you could find no better example of the can-do attitude she brings to Jark Ipswich.”
Miss Sabinskaite,31, who is originally from Lithuania, came to the UK in 2010.
She said: “I came with a suitcase and £200 I had borrowed from my boyfriend at the time, and I have studied and made my work and life here.”
“I learned English in school but it is much better now. I still make mistakes but we are getting there.”
“I was totally amazed and delighted to collect this award, but it has given me a chance to look back and reflect on what a busy year it has been, with some really great memories. Supporting the DIY SOS team felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but the cause was so inspiring that just being able to help in some way was a real privilege.”
Jark Ipswich is part of the Recruit Venture Group, now 48 branches strong and with a £200m annual turnover.