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Maidstone's Berry Recruitment ushers in the era of the 'Covid chaperone'

While the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economy, one new job is emerging as a consequence - the Covid chaperone.

According to Berry Recruitment, which has an office in Maidstone, there has been a steep increase in the number of its clients looking for people to manage queues and other gatherings.

Lee Gamble, managing director of Berry Recruitment (36842142)
Lee Gamble, managing director of Berry Recruitment (36842142)

It describes the work as "somewhere between security and front of house" and those with the skills are needed in a variety of sectors.

As a result, it is redeploying many of its workers from other areas to the new chaperone roles.

Lee Gamble, managing director of the recruitment firm, explained: “Businesses, attractions and organisations looking to reopen have to insist upon social distancing.

“And while people are generally happy to follow the rules they need to be overseen. This is where the chaperones come in.

“Luckily those who work in sectors that have been hit hard, such as retail and hairdressing, often have the people skills to be effective in these roles.

“To be able to gently corral people through the necessary procedures and processes is a skillset that many of our clients are looking for.

The queue outside Primark in Westwood Cross when it reopened for business on Monday
The queue outside Primark in Westwood Cross when it reopened for business on Monday

“We have seen how willing people are to congregate in numbers, whether it’s on the coast, queuing for McDonald’s or at shops and car parks.

“And with more places starting to open – including schools, theatres, beauty spots, visitor attractions and sporting events – there is a growing need for control.

“With much of the summer season still ahead of us and the number of gatherings expected to increase, these new chaperone roles are likely to be here for some time to come."

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