Employability Day: How we help people learn new skills and gain employment

Stephen Hewitt, Riverside’s Employment & Training Officer in Carlisle, provides support to Riverside tenants who want to learn new skills and gain employment. He went the extra mile for one customer, Becky, who needed support to successfully get the job she wanted that’s suited to her needs. The 21-year-old has Asperger syndrome. Stephen explains how he did this…

Stephen Hewitt, Riverside’s Employment & Training Officer in Carlisle, provides support to Riverside tenants who want to learn new skills and gain employment.
Stephen Hewitt, Riverside’s Employment & Training Officer in Carlisle.

 

When I first met Becky, she had just finished volunteering for two weeks. She had to give it up because the organisation did not support or understand her condition. This knocked her confidence and made her feel that she could not work. 

I worked closely with Becky, building her confidence and self-esteem. I did this by meeting her regularly and encouraging her to look for paid work. Together we talked through the different job options and decided due to the nature of Asperger syndrome that a position with a logical and methodical way of working would be the most suitable option, and decided that a housekeeping position at a local hotel would be a good prospect. 

We researched housekeeping jobs to see what the duties involved and began searching vacancies. A part-time position at a local hotel came up which we knew would be perfect. I helped Becky tailor her CV to mirror the person specification, and worked with her to produce a covering letter and even suggested that Becky undertake a work trial. 

The manager from the hotel invited Becky to an interview, and we asked if I could attend to support her through the process which the manager agreed. 

We met up before the interview and researched information about the hotel and prepared as much as possible, including doing a mock interview so she was well-prepared and to increase her chances of securing the job. I attended the interview with Becky and it went well, so much so that the next day Becky was offered a position to start the following week. 

Securing this job that Becky wanted to do has really helped with her self-esteem, and I have noticed a huge increase in overall confidence and happiness.

To find out more information on how Riverside can help you, visit https://www.riverside.org.uk/you-your-home/employment-training/

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