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Margaret worked in Camberwell on our Skills and Employment Team as a Keyworker on the Pathways to Employment Project which helped people overcome barriers to work. Here she talks about her work with JM who needed added support to get her confidence back up after a period of unemployment had chipped away at it.
“I met JM in the job centre where she was experiencing great difficulties from Universal Credit, having been out of work 18 months and she felt her age was against her (50+). This made her feel really low.
On further discussion, JM could not believe she had been out of work for so long and it was causing anxiety as she had thought she could walk straight into a job and the longer she was unemployed the less confident she became.
We discussed her employment options and JM was keen to pursue a career in the security industry but did not know how to go about it. I explained to JM that in order to become a Security Officer she needed an SIA badge. I found a provider who offered the training for free and booked her onto the course. JM completed the 4 week course but she failed a couple of units and was rather disappointed. However, I convinced her to go back and resit which she successfully did.
Whilst waiting on her badge to come through JM attended our Employability Workshop for interview techniques which she found enlightening and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I found a Jobs Fair which the Prison Service was running and I nominated JM to attend. When JM’s badge arrived we started to complete lengthy application forms for the Prison Service and eventually she was called for an assessment. She attended the assessment and from that was offered a 6 week paid training course which she attended and came out with a Diploma.
JM is now working at a Crown Court, very close to home and loving the job so much. She came in to see me at St Giles with her full uniform on and she looked so satisfied and confident in her role.
I have been regularly speaking with JM as part of our in-work support and she is still very happy a year later. JM could not thank us enough for our help and support and the patience we showed her during the rough times."