My last update came to you near the end of my course back in 2011. 8 months on and I’m still enjoying the positive effects of the College.
After leaving the College and returning back to Cumbria I attended the last of my work placements which was with a huge company based I my local area. I got on great with the team and was really enjoying being back in work. During my time here I tried my best to impress my colleagues and show them what I was capable of. I also made a lot of contacts within the business and one of these was the company’s Employment Advisor. We got talking about my situation and through this contact, and with the positive references I have received, I was able to turn this 2 week work placements into a 6 month, paid position through the RNIB Transitional Employment Scheme.
Once the scheme had been set up I was able to start a new position in the company’s transportation department. This takes advantage of my past experience as I used to be an international lorry driver. The work also has similar elements to my placement back in Loughborough, so I’m confident with the job role. I am now 5 weeks in to my TES and so far I love every second. The work I’m doing is real and is making a difference to the company.
My main duties include, file management using excel, building up an electronic database and managing my own project. They are definitely keeping me busy and it’s all good experience. All the equipment I need including JAWs, a high visibility keypad and a scanner has all been provided and I even have my own office!
The best part so far has been receiving my first pay check in such a long time. It was a great feeling and I took my wife out for dinner to celebrate.
The next challenge for me will be to turn this 6 month scheme into a permanent job. The contacts I have made within this company have been great and the experience will help me if a job does become available. I have had good feedback from colleagues and I already feel like part of the team.
I would just like to say how much the College’s Transitional Employment Scheme really works. It gives people the chance to get that first ‘toe-in-the-door’. Once in, it’s down to them to build up relationships and to prove that they can do the job to the employer. The TES helps to break down the barriers to employment for disabled people. The College can help to set this scheme up but at the end of the day it’s down to the individual to make a positive impression and contribute to the work force.