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Real Story: It’s Not Too Late to Make a Change and Move Forward

Man driving a coach

At 56, having been unemployed for six years, John* felt like there was never going to be a time when he could return to work.

He had previously worked as a welder in various shipyards, having served his apprenticeship as a marine plumber. John worked on several long and short-term contracts and enjoyed his work.

The physical demands of the job began to have an impact on his health, suffering ongoing back pain and foot pain. Inevitably John had to stop working in his trade due to health restrictions and found himself unemployed.

John found it difficult to decide which type of work he could do, particularly as his skills lay within a trade he could no longer practice. John was unsure about how to go about accessing advice and guidance. He had attended several short courses such as the Work Programme but felt that he was lacking direction as to how he could transfer his workplace and social skills into meaningful employment. John was feeling demotivated with his job search and lack of success in securing interviews

When John first met his Moving on Tyne & Wear (MOTW) navigator, it was apparent he was lacking in confidence. Initial discussions focused on the type of work he could manage within his health limitations and how best to use his strengths. John revealed that since working as a welder he had also worked as a taxi driver but was finding it difficult to make a living due to lack of business. His navigator focussed on this experience and conducted an exercise to define other transferable skills. His taxi driving experience meant he had good knowledge of the local area and also customer service experience in dealing with passengers.

John had recently started as a volunteer driver for the Missions To Seafarers, transporting seamen to and from the docks locally. Playing on his strengths and existing interest in driving, suddenly a new avenue opened for him.

John’s navigator spent time researching local companies which would fit John’s newly discovered job prospects and quickly came up with a list of options for him to pursue. With job openings at the local transport companies Go North East and Stagecoach, John worked with his navigator to complete the online application forms.

People working on a computer together

Whilst waiting to hear back, the navigator heard there was a 4 week Work Awareness Course advertised by one of the companies where John had applied. John’s navigator liaised with his Job Centre Work Coach and they were able to arrange for him to attend a 1-day awareness session at a local college.

After his awareness day, John informed MOTW that he was successful and had been accepted on a further 4-week Awareness Course where he would be assessed and interviewed as to his suitability for the job. He was excited at being accepted after such a long period of unemployment. MOTW was able to arrange for financial support to cover his transport costs. Further to this, John stayed in touch with his navigator and was very motivated as his confidence levels increased significantly over the last few weeks.

A few months later. John was delighted to tell his navigator he had been successful at interview and had received a letter advising a conditional offer of employment. In the end, John had opted to work for National Express as he preferred long distance driving. He was to receive training once his driving license was updated to provisional PCV status. He would need to pass a driving theory test and coach driving test on completion of his training which his prospective employers felt would be a formality. John needed to pay for a tachograph card and his theory test, something which Moving on Tyne & Wear were able to help him pay for.

John remarks how his advice sessions with his navigator convinced him to embrace his career path and was particularly complimentary on the “patient, motivational and inspirational ideas” MOTW were able to offer him. He found that the support with paying for his incurred expenses was a great motivation to him. He said that” “his life had changed for the better when he joined MOTW and began working with me”.

*Name has been changed for privacy

Are you stuck in a rut and searching for a way to restart your career? Contact us today to find out if we can help you get back on track. 

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