European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Action on Hearing Loss - Specialist Employment Programme 2

After looking after her family for many years, this participant explains how her placement on the Specialist Employment Programme, run by Action on Hearing Loss, gave her the help and confidence to secure full time employment.

Participant's story

The Specialist Employment Programme supports people on their individual journeys to access education, training and employment opportunities and is funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020, the Department for Communities and Department for the Economy.

The participant explains how the decision to enrol in the programme has helped her to successfully secure a full time job.

“Last year, I began the Specialist Employment Programme with Action on Hearing Loss. I am not only deaf but have depression and this was a big step for me. I was very nervous and wondered if I had done the right thing.”

“Through the programme, I started a placement with the Health and Social Care Board. When I met my mentor for the first time, she made me feel at ease and was so pleasant. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work after looking after my family (for many years).”

“On my first day, I had mixed feelings. I was a little excited, very nervous and actually wanted the day to be over. I had an interpreter there for my first day to support me to make sure I knew everything that was going on. When I walked into my office, I was met by my mentor with a great big smile. She showed me to my desk and made sure I was comfortable. She explained how things worked and even showed me how to use the printer. This made me feel comfortable; not only was my mentor friendly, but the rest of the staff I worked with were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. My day flew quickly and I couldn’t believe that I had done it.”

Receiving training and a temporary job

Working three mornings per week, the participant started to settle as she undertook a range of tasks such as researching prices and sorting documents. She was also given Excel training which she loved.

After the six month programme, the participant started a temporary job at the Health and Social Care Board. After completing an assessment and interview, she recently secured a full time job at another organisation as an Administrator which she is due to start soon.

The participant said:

“I am so pleased to have secured a new job. This was the first interview I’ve had in 14 years! I’d like to thank my Employment Adviser for pushing me a little harder than I thought I needed, for growing my confidence and helping me to secure this new opportunity.”


A German translation of this case study is available at: European Social Fund case study - Action on Hearing Loss 2 - German translation


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