Andrew* is incredibly shy and nervous. He has no confidence and does not make eye contact with anyone avoiding talking to anyone unless it is strictly necessary. Before joining Work Programme he was referred to a Work Psychologist by JobCentre Plus.
Andrew has previously had a temporary Christmas job with Royal Mail, but no other work experience.
What Prospects did
Andrew joined the Work Programme in July 2015, shortly before receiving a diagnosis of Asperger’s/Autism. The diagnosis explained Andrew’s shyness and difficulties in social situations.
Andrew’s personal adviser worked closely with him to ensure he was able to cope with each situation presented to him. Initially attending the office was a challenge, however, week by week Andrew grew in confidence. Andrew was encouraged to complete weekly one to one activities with his adviser and regular online job searching in the office before he joined group activities with Prospects adviser, Loretta. Andrew enjoyed the hands on activities with the group and his confidence continued to grow.
After a couple of months Andrew changed personal adviser. He was nervous about this change and he found it hard to talk to the new adviser initially. However, the relationship developed and together they talked about career goals. Andrew enjoys organisation and data so would like an administrative/data entry/IT role.
To help Andrew achieve his careers goals Prospects advised him consider work experience as an option. Initially Andrew was able to volunteer at Prospects for half a day per week and work on reception. He was responsible for the door entry system, answering telephones, taking messages, transferring calls to the correct advisors, data entry of feedback forms, filing and any other tasks around the office.
Andrew’s confidence increased and he took on more responsibility. He began talking to other members of staff, the way he answered the telephone improved, he reminded other customers to sign in and out and helped others on the computers. Andrew was doing so well he increased his volunteer role to two half days per week. At this point his adviser believed he was work ready and was employable.
His adviser approached Somerset Business Agency who were advertising a vacancy. He asked if Andrew could do work experience with a view to being taken on if he could prove himself, they agreed and he began an eight-week voluntary work placement role.
To help Andrew settle in his new role his adviser visited him at Somerset Business Agency. Andrew was finding it difficult to prioritise work when he was given multiple tasks. His adviser gave him coping strategies to improve his skills and reduce workplace stress.
Outcomes and results
Andrew quickly became part of the team at Somerset Business Agency.
The team all loved having him there and at the end of the placement Prospects met with Andrew, Somerset Business Agency Director, Patricia, Manager, Toni and Andrew’s aunt to discuss the next stage.
Andrew worked hard to prove himself, however, he requires extra support in the workplace, which concerned Somerset Business Agency. Andrew’s Prospects adviser recommended Access to Work, which would provide Somerset Business Agency with funding to support Andrew. A funding application was submitted and approved and Andrew was offered a full time job.