European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Action on Hearing Loss - Specialist Employment Programme 3

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.

Participant's story

This participant has a vision of becoming the first Deaf Councillor after participation in Action on Hearing Loss’s Employability Training Course enabled him to secure a permanent job in a local Council.

This participant is profoundly deaf and uses sign language. After he left school, he held various short term contracted jobs. He was unemployed for a couple of years before taking part in Action on Hearing Loss’ Employability training course.

Achieving qualifications

The Employment Team at Action on Hearing Loss began supporting the participant, focusing on confidence building, CV building, applying for various administration posts and interview preparation. He took part in the Employability training course during which he achieved an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in Customer Service. His dedicated Employment Adviser encouraged him to apply for a place on a local Council pre-employment training programme, for which he was successful.

Throughout the training, Action on Hearing Loss continued to support him and the Council by providing important specialist information about the Access to Work scheme, communication support and deaf awareness. Following the training programme, he obtained a permanent job at the Council as a Clerk.

Accessible support

The participant said:

“I think the Action on Hearing Loss Employability service is really useful as without it I’d only have support from hearing people as part of Jobseeker’s Allowance…I would have been lost and wouldn’t have found a job. I’m grateful that this service exists because I was able to get accessible support in my own language which meant I was more able to get a job. I’m really grateful to Action on Hearing Loss for where I am now.”

 “My manager has told me she’s learnt a lot from me and my efforts to raise deaf awareness. My vision is to become the first Deaf Councillor - it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to campaign within the Council to raise awareness.”

“I applaud the Employment team for their dedication, hard work and support over the past few years. If anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing is seeking employment, I highly recommend they engage with this service.”

An Employment Adviser at Action on Hearing Loss said:

“We are absolutely delighted for him. This is something he has always wanted to do; he has the skills, knowledge, ability and competence and now the opportunity to demonstrate it. He never let his deafness get in the way of his working life and is determined to prove that he is capable of doing an excellent job.”

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