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