Andy's Work Choice Story
Andy's Work Choice Story
Andy was referred to Work Choice in August 2016 by the Disability Employment Advisor at Newbury JobCentre Plus.
At 62, Andy brought with him an extensive work history as a long distance Driver. However, due to the onset of arthritis and a battle with depression after the passing of his Wife, Andy was unable to continue with this line of work.
From his first day on Enham Trust’s Work Choice programme, it became immediately evident that Andy had a lot to offer potential employers; the challenge at hand was helping Andy to see this and build on his confidence and self-belief, as well as his ability to identify suitable opportunities.
Andy came armed with a CV and Cover Letter, and was already building on his IT skills. The approach taken by his Employment Advisor wasn’t that of practical based activities that you would typically think of on an Employment & Skills provision, but rather on developing Andy’s confidence and identifying the transferrable skills that he had gained through work, as well as from the life experiences he had been through.
It was agreed that Andy would have weekly appointments in order to establish a routine and clear objectives to be met on a regular basis. Together, Andy and his Advisor spent many a session job searching and coming up empty handed – there were ample driving opportunities available, however, none were suitable given Andy’s health.
He participated in a Health Disclosure Group Session with 3 other Work Choice customers and Enham Trust Advisors, and this was a real turning point in Andy’s journey back in to sustainable employment.
His participation in the session and interaction with others was fantastic and it was clear at this point for Andy’s Employment Advisor that Andy had a real passion and desire to “give something back” and to do a job where he felt he was contributing.
Andy and his Advisor decided to change tact, and actively avoided internet based job searches, turning their efforts to local newspapers and speculative approaches.
With the support of his Advisor, Andy applied for a role as a School Mini Bus Driver, but was unsuccessful.
Then, on the next appointment, Andy informed his Advisor that between appointments he had seen another Mini Bus Driver role advertised and had applied independently – not only that, he had an interview the following week. Andy and his Advisor spent the appointment running through potential interview questions in preparation.
In December 2016, Andy started employment on an initial 12.5 hour per week contract through West Berkshire Council for a local school for children with disabilities.
He still meets regularly with his Employment Advisor, and has the potential to gain more hours in the near future, outside of a driving role, again developing on his already existing skills.
I have been in a very dark place these last few years, so I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help work wise, but more importantly, you have helped me to regain my self-esteem and confidence.