PM Training: Employability Support
Posted On June 16, 2020
Participant 1 was referred to Connecting Choices by his job centre work coach. He was living with his sister on a temporary basis, as he has no permanent address. He was referred to the project as he needed support to find accommodation and employment. He had limited time to find new accommodation as his sister was moving in with her boyfriend and he cannot take on the full rent by himself. Participant 1 suffers from anxiety and depression; he has issues being around large crowds. He has worked as a cleaner; his ideal career choice is in security. He understands he needs to gain a SIA licence and experience.
How did we overcome barriers?
Participant 1 believes his main barrier is his mental health, his anxiety and depression. I worked with him and secured a placement on a SIA course. He completed the majority of the SIA course, but unfortunately did not complete one of the mandatory modules. Due to his anxiety, he felt overwhelmed being in a group and was unable to complete the presentation module. I worked to help him overcome his anxiety and to hopefully rebook him back on to the SIA course. But due to changes with his accommodation, he had the urgent task to find somewhere to live as a priority. I advised him to contact various housing support groups, registered on housing association waiting list, contacted Newcastle borough council, Stoke on Trent City Council. Through Connecting Choices, I could support his travel and provided a bus pass to help him get to housing appointments and speak to relevant organisations. Due to lock down commencing from the Covid-19 outbreak, he struggled to contact the appropriate people and get support for his housing needs. I continued to work and support him during this period. Participant 1 managed to get temporary accommodation from a friend during the self-isolation period. We managed to register with agencies and applied to various vacancies and opportunities for various jobs such as warehouse, cleaner, porter. Throughout this process, his anxiety and stress level increased, but he was determined and understood he had to progress forward.
Through supporting Participant 1 during lockdown, he managed to secure an interview with Morrison’s for a job as a cleaner. We discussed some interview skills and techniques on how to answer interview questions. His anxiety gradually increased due to the pressure he was facing, but the experience has proved to himself that his willingness and determination can make positive changes. He managed to secure the job as a cleaner and is currently working 16 hours a week. He feels proud of himself. He understands it is only the start, his next task is to find permanent accommodation and security in his finances and personal life.
Participant 2 transferred to my caseload in August 2018. He is 28, lives by himself, and has never been in paid employment. He has undertaken work experience placements at Groundwork and at the Co-op. He has low mental wellbeing and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in early adulthood. He has always said he does want to work but his mental wellbeing has been a major factor in him not getting and holding down a job. He has always struggled with his motivation and he is very much aware that this is evident when people meet him. Other factors that have had an impact on his mental wellbeing and progression are debt and gambling.
I have spent time with him 1:1 offering encouragement and support to increase motivation and confidence. He has utilised specialist provider support, he has worked with Genius Within and successfully completed Employable Genius which he felt gave him structure and a routine which he enjoyed, he has been a regular visitor to his local Social Hub even bringing along his pet dog to meet other Social Hub members. He has always been open to suggestions around looking after his own mental wellbeing and has accessed local services including NHS wellbeing, Changes and Aspire Housing where he is supported by a member of the Housing Wellbeing and Support Team who provides practical and emotional support.
Participant 2’s debt issues have been addressed and he has put steps in place to help him get his gambling under control. He has explored many options including volunteering, training and work and has even started a volunteer placement and a job, only to leave after a day or two. He will be the first one to admit he gives up too easily as he thinks things are too hard, he does not give himself time to settle in and learn things on the job, he expects instant results. At times he has disengaged and we have had no contact as he thinks his life will not change and this is how it is always going to be.
Just prior to Christmas 2019, he secured temporary work at Royal Mail through an agency, data inputting; and successfully completed his temporary assignment only being absent for one day. This has been a turning point. He has had money in his pocket to spend which has given him the motivation to get and hold down a permanent job. His ideal job would be as a delivery driver. When he does apply for a job he is very good at getting a job interview, he recently applied at Tesco but unfortunately was unsuccessful at the interview stage but not long after he applied at Amazon and started work as a delivery driver. He did experience a setback and left after a couple of days, in his words ‘ when he is in work he does not want to be there and when he is out of work he wants to be in work’. He has coped well with restrictions since the outbreak of COVID 19 and remained in regular contact with me and engaged with Genius Within again, undertaking some, one to one coaching sessions over the phone. He decided to contact Amazon and ask for his job back and he is now settling back into his role as a delivery driver.
When I offered Participant 2 some additional coaching sessions over the phone he declined in his words ‘it is up to him now’ and he seems to have the positive mental attitude needed to stay in work.