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David worked as a Keyworker in our Skills and Employment team in Camberwell on the Pathways to Employment Project which helped people overcome barriers to progress towards employment. Here he explains his work with T who was struggling to get into work after serving a two year prison sentence.
"T was referred to us via the job centre as he has having difficulties finding employment. On further discussion of his situation, he disclosed to us that he had just been released from a two year prison sentence and had been unemployed for some time.
It became evident that he was eager to get back to work but was struggling with the fact that he had limited qualifications and he felt that his conviction was having a negative effect on his ability to re-join the work force. However, he showed that he was prepared to be fully engaged with Pathways.
After some discussions, we identified together that taking a course in traffic management would be an ideal career path for him. We spent time together making adjustments to his existing CV and writing up a suitable cover letter.
During his time in custody, T took part in various courses that helped with his rehabilitation but none of them really equipped him to sustain stable employment. We researched traffic management courses and decided that taking part in two that were dedicated to signing, lighting and guarding.
As an additional part of working towards employment we identified that he would be mostly working as a self-employed worker so it would be necessary for him to handle his own taxes. We helped him to obtain his UTR number so he could ensure that his tax requirements were fully met.
We also helped him set up numerous online job search sites, register with employment agencies and complete application forms so that he could continue to meet the requirements set by his job centre advisor.
Due to having had previous convictions and not being in a financially stable position we identified that pursuing a grant from the Sheriff’s and Recorder’s Fund would allow him to gain the necessary qualification for moving into traffic management.
The grant provided by the Sheriff’s and Recorder’s Fund allowed us to enrol T on a traffic management course and ensure that funds were in place so he could focus on exclusively on passing the course and then obtaining employment.
After working hard and focusing on his training he completed the course and was rewarded the certificate.
We started applying for traffic management vacancies and he registered with a recruitment agency that was able to match him up to employment with a large construction firm.
Without the support of St Giles Trust and the Pathways to Employment project it would have been doubtful that T would have achieved such immediate success. T went from being released from a custodial sentence and claiming benefits to being in stable and fulfilling full-time employment within just one month.
Since September 2017 he has been working as a traffic management operative where he is earning over £11 per hour which is comfortably above the London Living Wage.
We have maintained regular contact with T as part of our continued support of him. During these follow ups he has reiterated on numerous occasions that he is happy, fulfilled and thankful for the opportunities presented to him thanks to the support from the Skills and Employment team.
T has also made contact with his estranged ex-girlfriend with whom he had children with before his custodial sentence. They are all very pleased with the progress he has made since finding new employment and the stability it provides in his life. He is now able to provide the financial and familial support that his young family needs most and is showing that he can be an important and positive influence on their lives.
He has remained in employment to this day and continues to be free from re-offending and a positive contributor to the upbringing of his children and the wellness of his family and community; and shows that when given the right opportunities anyone can succeed and improve their lives dramatically."