Katie's Diary

Encouraging employment

30th April 2015

ubu believes that everyone should have the opportunity to find meaningful and fulfilling employment. The people we serve have an incredible variety of valuable skills, talents and experience to bring to the workplace.

It has been estimated that less than 7% of people with learning disabilities are in some form of paid work. Most of those people are in low-paid, part-time employment. ubu is committed to supporting the people we serve to find employment that suits them. It’s important for all of us that the work we do offers dignity and responsibility and attracts the potential to improve and to develop new skills.

ubu supports many people who work as volunteers in charity shops and other similar organisations. This can provide good experience, excellent training and development for individuals. It is also an opportunity to contribute to and interact with the local community.

Craig has been enabled with support from ubu to live independently in in his own flat for 6 years. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and this can make dealing with change often difficult for him. It also means that Craig has to work hard to interact comfortably with other people.

ubu enablers have spent considerable time with Craig listening and talking with him about what kind of work he would like to do. We helped him to see the potential benefits of working such as helping others who cannot help themselves and giving something back to the community that support him in so many ways.

Recently Craig decided to look for voluntary work and was successful with one of his applications. He was very pleased, his friends and ubu staff were delighted for him. The experience has been an excellent achievement for Craig. He has faced issues that are difficult for him such as change and understanding others.

Being accepted into the workplace as a member of the team provides a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate training and skills. But the process can be daunting. ubu works individually with the people we serve to find personalised ways to overcome obstacles and barriers to finding appropriate and fulfilling employment.

Kirsty has always wanted to work with children, and studied child care at college a few years ago. But Kirsty struggled to maintain her confidence. She found it really hard to talk and clammed up at interviews so that people don’t see the best in her. “I’ve been for jobs in the past and have had some really awful interviews. Some of those experiences really put me off wanting to find a job”.

At the end of last year, with support from her ubu enablers Kirsty worked on her CV and began looking for work in the local area. Kirsty said “I was really proud of myself even though nothing came of it at first”. She worked with her ubu team to ‘job hunt', looking for the kind of work that would suit her training and her dream of working with children.

Kirsty found a post being offered which fitted her interest in child care and that required the skills she had gained from college. She made an application with support from one of the ubu team who work with her. To prepare for interviews, Kirsty practiced role playing with one of her enablers, working through likely questions and how best to answer them. This proved to be a useful confidence-builder along with encouragement she received to prepare for the interview by thinking about how she would dress and present herself on the day.

The interview wasn’t easy but Kirsty overcame her nervousness and opened up enthusiastically when asked what she would like to do. She used the skills she had practiced before the day and they really helped her to convince the employer to offer her a job. “They said they could see me working as part of their team” reports Kirsty and that has been a real boost to her “I’m so happy and can’t wait to get started”.

Encouraging employment Encouraging employment

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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