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Staff Spotlight: Meet Employment Engagement Worker, Joe Harms

Staff spotlight. Joe Harms, Employment Engagement Worker

So that you can find out more about our programme and the people who work together to support our participants, over the next few months we’ll be putting a spotlight on the daily lives of some of the Moving On Tyne & Wear (MOTW) team.

This month, Joe gives us a glimpse of a day (or three days!) in the life of an Employment Engagement Worker.

Our Employment Engagement Workers are responsible for developing and managing relationships with employers, whilst working alongside MOTW navigators to identify suitable workplace opportunities for participants.

Day one

Today I spent my day attending an autism community event at the Newcastle Civic Centre, which consisted of speeches and presentations from businesses and local authorities, as well as information stalls. There were also opportunities to network, hear about others’ experiences, get advice and share best practice, which was fantastic!

All participants on the Moving On Tyne & Wear programme have different barriers to the workplace, and so we work with a range of partners to engage and support people in the region with specific health issues. One of these partners is the North East Autism Society, which works with us to help individuals on the autism spectrum overcome barriers to the workplace.

Events like this give me the opportunity to learn more about autism, and about the different opportunities, services and facilities available in the region. All of these things help us to better work with and for those on the autism spectrum, providing more options for participants and allowing us to better fulfil our roles as Employment Engagement Workers!

Day two

Today I attended a meeting with representatives from two major local employers.

As an Employment Engagement Worker, I often attend meetings in like this in order to let employers know about Moving On Tyne & Wear and what we are aiming to achieve, in the hope of forging relationships with the employer and arranging placements. I learned all about the work experience opportunities the companies currently provide, and discussed whether we could link these in with the programme, or work side by side to develop new opportunities.

I’ll be meeting with both employers again, both of whom agreed to provide a tour to some of our participants and give presentations to them outlining the different work placement opportunities available across a range of departments.

Overall the meeting was successful, and will hopefully establish a long relationship from which participants can attend placements!

Day three

Today consisted of liaising with other representatives on Moving On Tyne & Wear from different charity partners.
This included speaking with our lead partner, Mental Health Concern, and feeding back good news stories and successes from the programme!

It also consisted of speaking with Navigators from our different area projects to share updates and inform each other of the different opportunities and options open to participants.

Lastly, I spent some time with a participant who I’ve worked with to fine-tune their CV and help in regards to job searching. As part of the meeting we got in touch with a local employer to see if they had any job vacancies, who informed us that they were currently hiring. We then wrote a cover letter together and the participant later walked to the store to hand in their CV and application!

Find out more about Employment Engagement at Moving On Tyne & Wear

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