Best Practice Case Studies: EmployAbility (1)

EmployAbility is a supported employment service run by Surrey County Council for disabled people who wish to find paid or voluntary work but need some additional help.  They help individuals find and retain employment, by supporting both the employer and employee during all stages of job seeking and providing on-going support in the workplace.  Their aim is to promote social inclusion and enable people with disabilities to make their contribution to local communities and participate fully in the wider community. Here is Ben’s story.

Ben had always wanted to work in IT, which he had studied at University.  However, Ben’s visual impairment had made him nervous about new situations and he lacked confidence in his abilities.  When Ben began working with EmployAbility he had secured funding through Right to Control.  Ben found travelling to different locations made him uneasy and using different forms of public transport was difficult.  Ben was struggling to successfully apply for jobs and had little success in securing interviews.  An Action Plan was put in place for Ben that focused him on gaining independence with travelling, using different forms of public transport and socialising him with new situations.  Time was also spent focusing on his existing skills and capabilities and drawing out evidence of these skills that Ben would later use in interviews.  Ben’s confidence grew quickly and various technologies and aides were explored to assist him seeing more.  Ben attended a number of interviews, which gave him the chance to explore various positions and work scenarios.  Ben excelled in a number of pre-interview tests, which also improved his confidence.

Ben’s real passion was within IT Support and a targeted mail-shot was sent out to various local organisations asking for work experience in an IT role.  Following the mail-shot an IT Support work experience placement was secured, 5 minutes from his home.

Ben now works in Reigate College’s IT Team providing a range of services.  Ben fixes hardware faults, rebuilds faulty equipment as well as installing PC’s and projector equipment.  Ben has gained customer service skills through offering students support with software and hardware and providing the staff will assistance with ipads and laptops.  He works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8.30 – 15.30, each week. Ben settled in quickly at Reigate College, helped by his friendly personality and willingness to learn.

Ben has learnt new skills and grown in confidence. He manages enquiries face to face and over the phone, multi-tasks with the varied responsibilities and prioritises his work accordingly to the ever changing deadlines.  Ben says ‘I love my placement at Reigate College and everyone there is very friendly and amicable. I have learnt many skills, for example remotely monitoring and maintaining computer systems without having to leave my desk, doing password and profile resets for students and staff. I have learnt how to diagnose and fix a vast range of faults and problems. My team are all a lovely bunch of people, who look after me well and show me how to do things and we generally have a good laugh together’.

Two months after Ben’s work experience placement ended he was offered a full time paid position with Reigate College as a Junior IT Technician, starting in April 2013.


Congratulations Ben! Another example of how organisations can access talent with a bit of help.

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