Wykeham Staff Services was created in December 2001 by Martin Payne. After generations in farming, Martin decided to diversify. As a farmer, he had used ‘gang labour’ for a variety of seasonal jobs and overall was disappointed with not only the staff, but also the service that was provided by the ‘gangmaster’. In truth, the jobs weren’t being done efficiently either. There were many occasions when the D.S.S. turned up and 50 field workers would run off in different directions. These were the bad old days when the ‘gangmaster’ would supply the staff, pay them cash in hand and they would still claim their dole money. So when the time arrived to diversify, Martin saw an opportunity. To be one of the first Employment Agencies that provided a fully legal, motivated, efficient workforce.

Like all new businesses, the first few years were hard. Martin won his first contract in December 2001. It was for one person and just for the build-up to Christmas. But he persevered. He knew he had a good business idea and was determined that it would work. Over the months and years ahead, Martin won new contracts with his enthusiasm and energy to bring the concept of staffing and Agency Labour into the 21st Century.

In May 2002, Martin was joined by his eldest son, Trevor. Then in May 2003, joined by his youngest son, Terry. Both of the sons had the same drive, determination and work ethic as Martin, and both started their working careers in the same way – cutting cauliflowers. Then Trevor and Terry both got the experience of working in Nurseries, Factories, Packhouses and Farms. The work they did was anything from making boxes on the end of a production line, right up to Line Leading and Quality Control. The objectives were simple – in order to understand a customer’s needs, Trevor and Terry had to work for them to understand what their requirements were. It also helped in understanding how to motivate the workforce and make sure they are efficient. And how could they teach, instruct and show an employee how to do a certain job if they could not do it themselves?

In 2004, the industry saw the introduction of the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority. Wykeham Staff Services were one of the first Employment Agencies in the country to successfully pass the Temporary Working Labour Group audit and be issued with a Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority License. The initial ideal of creating an Employment Agency with legal employees was priceless during this process. Subsequent visits by the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority have found no non-compliance at all. In fact, Wykeham Staff Services are in the process of turning the business from a Sole Trader to a Limited Company and the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority have decided there is no need to re-audit for the new License as they are totally satisfied that everything is being done as it should be.

Today, the business concept is simple and that is to be the best. Not only do we want to provide our customers with a high quality, efficient, cost effective, legitimate, staffing solution, we also want our employees to enjoy working for us. Unfortunately, we still hear horror stories from some of our employees of how they have been treated by other labour providers. Happy, well taken care of employees ensure our customers receive an efficient service and a continuity of staff. Wykeham Staff Services are still totally committed to the ideals of ten years ago. Happy, efficient, legally working employees and customers who are completely satisfied with the service we have provided them. Wykeham Staff Services is a family-run business. It is not just a job to us, it is a livelihood. We still want to be here in 50 years time. Hence we must work hard, make sure we have satisfied customers and have happy employees to make sure we get there.

Wykeham Staff Services Photo Strip