Good News for Neil

Wednesday, 15th March 2017

Good News for Neil

Portland College deliver Specialist Employability Support (SES) programme, one of the Department for Work and Pension’s main programmes to help disabled people to find and stay in work.

The service supports disabled people who need support to enter work or undertake work-related courses and activities.

Our SES service is for disabled clients in need of personal support and expertise to move them towards and into employment.

One such client, Neil, has a fantastic story…

Neil was referred to the Specialist Employability Service Programme (SES) by his Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) from Retford Jobcentre in December 2015. He has never worked or had any work experience since leaving school due to his Dyslexia, Aspergers and Anxiety but his DEA felt that the SES Programme could offer him one to one support to help him find employment.

After his referral to the SES Programme, his allocated Employment Adviser, Lynn, based at Portland, made an appointment to meet Neil to discuss what areas of work he was most interested in and what support we could offer him.

Lynn says: “I spent a lot of time getting to know Neil to determine what support he needed and best way that she could support him, taking things one step at a time and at his own pace.”

Lynn spoke to Neil about getting some work experience and how she thought that this would be the key to finding long term, sustained employment for Neil, as well as increasing his confidence at the same time. So the search for work experience or indeed a paid role began. It needed to be local so that Neil could get there himself and improve his sense of independence.

After contacting a number of employers on a trading estate within walking distance of Neil’s home, Lynn had a conversation with Adrian Batterley from Plytek Services Ltd who manufacture, supply and fit van lining for commercial fleets and she arranged to go and see him.

After a initial meeting with Adrian herself, Lynn arranged for Neil to have an interview at Plytek Services and took Neil to buy some new clothes for his interview. Before the interview, Lynn completed a mock interview session with Neil and spent some time with Neil talking about work ethics and how to conduct himself in the workplace, his role as an employee and what he could expect from an employer.

Lynn supported Neil throughout the interview process, just to give him some moral support. She took him to the interview and was on hand to prompt and support Neil if necessary.

“Adrian was fantastic. Sometimes, in order to successfully move into paid employment, our Clients just need to be given a chance and Adrian did that for Neil. Adrian gave Neil that chance and took things slowly at Neil’s pace to avoid the anxiety that Neil sometimes felt in new situations” said Lynn.

Following the interview, Neil attended a full day’s Work Trial and Adrian was so impressed with Neil that he instantly offered him a part time position within the business looking after “Operational Administration” for 20 hours per week, and would look to progress to full time work once Neil has learned the ropes and settles in.

“Adrian and the team have been immensely supportive and have made Neil feel so at home. The staff are all aware of Neil’s disability and they all offer him support and have welcomed him into the fold. We need more businesses like Plytek to support people with a disability into employment.” Lynn commented.

Neil himself said; “STEPS is a great programme and Lynn is fantastic”

Neil’s confidence has improved so much that he has just started taking driving lessons and cannot wait to pass his test.