EmployAbility are 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 Simon’s story.
Simon had been out of work for 4 years, following 6 successful years at work and a subsequent mental health problem. Simon met with EmployAbility’s New Start Team and it was agreed he should apply for an IT Apprenticeship with Surrey County Council. He was successful in getting the job.
The role requires Simon to interpret requirements, research software and create technical user documents for self-employed people. The documents have to be written in a way that people with a technical understanding will benefit from the advice, whilst explaining instructions in a manner that someone with a learning difficulty would also be able to follow. The role requires a sound IT understanding, a strong level of written English skills and the ability to think about a range of perceptions and learning styles.
Simon says, “the job forces you to keep on your toes when offering advice to clients since you need to be able to present information in ways which can be understood by people who are either not very technically able or who may have difficulty in understanding certain topics. The ability to explain these tasks in a way that is understandable, clear, concise and informative is a challenge which I relish. Also meeting new people is a great experience and often changes the way that you think about certain tasks and problems. Overall I am looking forward to the year ahead as I am sure that the job will expand my horizons in ways which I cannot comprehend at the present time”.
Simon’s manager Jenny says: “Simon demonstrated strong skills for this role during the interview process and has proven to be an excellent match for the job requirements. He has settled in really quickly and works with a level of independence and competence that is a great asset to this very busy project. We are delighted that he chose to join us as an apprentice.”
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