We’re proud to have a team of Health Pathways Officers and Job Coaches who provide tailored specialist employment support for people with autism or learning difficulties. The Pathways Innovation Project helps participants remove the barriers to employment and get closer to work.
In August 2021 we welcomed a new participant onto our Pathways Project. This participant, who doesn’t wish to be named, was very unsure about engaging with our programme as they were worried that getting back into work might trigger another mental breakdown. But they knew they needed to find employment, so they took the brave decision to talk to us and sign up for our support. Once they were on programme it was clear they were unsure what career route they wanted to go down, and so once they were ready we spent time looking at different career options, reading job descriptions together and brainstorming career ideas and potential paths.
This focused work gave our Health Pathways Officer, Laura, a good idea of the right kind of roles for our participant and highlighted the areas that they really weren’t keen on! The next step was to start and apply for positions. Helping our participants with their job search is a lengthy and thorough process, not only do we want to make sure that the job would be a good fit for their career goal, but we’ll also take the time to research their Disability Policy and double check logistical things such as distance and travel options from our participants address. We do all this to support our participant and help them navigate through the vast amounts of information on offer, and we want them to be assured that the opportunity is worth exploring and applying for it is a good idea!
Once Laura found some positions, she was able to break down what our participant needed to do in order for them to apply – for example, building elements of their CV, working on personal statements and expanding on their previous employment history to highlight key skills related to the jobs in question.
By breaking things down into more manageable activities, the task of applying for the jobs seemed achievable and the applications went in.
Laura then helped our participant with some interview coaching, helping them feel confident in their ability to answer the types of questions normally asked in interviews for their chosen profession. Everything was tailored around our participant and the journey they wanted to go on, and Laura took her time to ensure they didn’t feel rushed at any stage.
There is something so helpful and reassuring about having the vacancies sent which are a really good fit for me. I don’t feel like this has just been picked to get me into work in any job and the vacancies sent have been tailored to my needs and a really good fit.
Since August our participants confidence has blossomed, and they’re now able to recognise their own abilities and skills and understand that they are able and ready to get back into work. They know the direction they’re heading in and feel mentally ready to face the challenges of employment once again. Unfortunately, they weren’t successful after their first interview, however the feedback received was excellent and our participants strength in character and confidence means they aren’t disheartened, they haven’t given up, and they’re using this feedback to help their future applications.
Our participant is still actively looking for work, however they’re keen to keep busy in the meantime so they’ve recently signed up for some supported learning. This is a huge step for our participant who had previously declared they wouldn’t consider any in-person or remote training due to their anxiety. The course looks at Maths skills which will help our participant on their job search and in day-to-day life. Not content with learning something new, they’ve also recently accepted a volunteering role which is great for their communication skills and working as part of a team.
Our participants application will now stand out from the crowd, helping them to get one step closer to work.
We’re so proud of the progress our participant has made in a few short months, and we’re looking forward to continuing our journey with them and seeing where they end up. We’ve no doubt they will be successful on their job search and we’re now both able to think positively about their future.
Update to the story – December 2021
Our participant is delighted to share that they have been offered a job that they will be accepting! 2022 is off to a fantastic start for them, and we’re delighted 🙂