2023 ESF case study - Disability Action 2

Job Match is a project delivered by Disability Action which supports economically inactive or unemployed people with a disability as their primary barrier to paid employment.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Participant's story

‘Your present circumstances don’t determine where you go; they merely determine where you start’

Disability Action tell us about a participant’s experience on the Job Match Project.

The participant acquired his disability following a rewarding and fulfilling career where he enjoyed the day-to-day tasks, working in a team and the convivial advantages that came along with the role. When that changed, he embraced the challenges, took the positive forward steps to find out what support was available and got inspired and motivated to get back into employment - to start afresh.

Job Match Programme

He reached out to Disability Actions Job Match Programme and was allocated an Employment Officer and from there he journeyed on the path to employment.

Firstly, the Employment Officer spoke to the participant about his CV, personal experiences and prepared him to apply for roles with a new and updated CV and accompanying cover letter boosted by the advice and support the Employment Officer had offered. His motivation was good, confidence was at a high and the participant’s steely grit was steadfast regardless of the ups and downs that were experienced and he was focused on the end goal - employment.  

The participant soon grasped that the barriers to employment were not only physical, but also the misconceptions that employers still have regarding disability awareness. Disappointment was shared and strategies were changed to help him obtain his goal of employment.

Remote working role

He attended Job Fairs to allow him to get a feel of the local labour market, meet employers and see the opportunities that were available. After further consultation with his Employment Officer, the participant decided that the best role that met his needs was a remote working role.

He attended an on-line information session with a company specialising in jobs working from home and was sold on the prospect of home working, remote training and having the flexibility to determine what hours he wanted to work. The participant and his Employment Officer developed a strategy and carried out interview preparation to help with his approach. This included encouraging the participant to reflect on his many years in management, delegation, and skills he obtained in his employment. His confidence and eagerness to start a new career shone through at interview, and he was offered the position soon after.

This was great news even though it was just the start. With the help of his Employment Officer the participant applied to the Advisory Discretionary Fund (ADF) to get help with the expense involved in getting the software and equipment that was needed for the role. Finally, with his start date looming, the grant was approved, the participant was delighted with the financial aid that came his way.

He now looks forward to the new role, the challenges ahead and building once again on his self-worth, confidence, and fortitude.

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