The Apprenticeship, Traineeship & Jobs Growth Wales Programmes, led by the Welsh Government, are supported by the European Social Fund
Andrew was born in Germany on a British Military Base and moved over to the U.K. half way through high school. Since completing his education, Andrew was able to secure a few short term spells of employment in Yard Work through various agencies.
Andrew last worked over ten years ago and since then has been through various welfare to work schemes, including New Deal, FND, the Work Programme, Work Ready and Community Work Placements. Andrew was with North Wales Training on the Community Work Placement contract in which we secured a placement at Capricorn Animal Rescue. Andrew’s CV for the last ten years covers a variety of work placements, which although assisting with recent experience, haven’t been able to move Andrew closer to employment.
Andrew was referred to the Employability Skills Programme (ESP) contract in December 2016 and required support on his skills and personal presentation. Andrew has already many hours in a work placement under his belt and completed hundreds of hours on jobsearch sessions. Andrew’s Advisor, Stuart Boyd and Placement Officer, Pauline Quinn, were aware that this contract could not follow the previous blueprint.
I have known Andrew for nearly ten years during his time in Welfare to Work and he has always been a very polite and keen individual who was in desperate need of an employer taking a chance on him. Due to a limited work history and the support required in essential skills and personal presentation, it was difficult to find the opportunity, but Andrew deserved a break. On this contract things started to develop.
Andrew was inducted on December 6th 2016. Pauline Quinn met with Refurbs Flintshire, a social enterprise specialising in recycling furniture and unwanted goods. North Wales Training have had a strong relationship with Refurbs Flintshire for years. Numerous customers have been moved forward due to placements on their site and a number of which have started employment directly with Refurbs Flintshire. Pauline discussed Andrew with Kevin Barry, General Manager of Refurbs and it was agreed that Andrew would be offered a placement of 30 hours per week. Both were conscious that this could not be just another placement, and we would need to focus efforts to ensure Andrew was able to progress. Andrew was signed up to start his placement less than a week from starting on December 12th 2017.
Andrew was given the job of dismantling sofas that arrived on site and started to progress very well. Feedback from management at Refurbs Flintshire was that Andrew’s work ethic was exceptional. He was always first in every morning and was opening the site and making drinks for the rest of the team before they arrived. He was given a £10 Asda voucher from Refurbs for Christmas and he bought his first CD.
Andrew finished his 8 week placement at Refurbs Flintshire and resumed working with the team at North Wales Training. The feedback was fantastic and that if funding was available, Andrew would have been offered a job. I met Andrew in the Deeside office on February 10th 2017. Andrew was dressed in a shirt and tie and looked very smart, it was like dealing with a new man. Andrew was feeling very positive and wanted to continue to volunteer at Refurbs, which was authorised by his Work Coach at JCP.
Andrew continued to attend for employability support with North Wales Training. Through contact with Margaret at Parry and Evans, a local Recycling plant, Pauline Quinn, was offered a two week work trial for one of our customers. Andrew was the first name in mind and it was confirmed on Friday 5th May 2017 that Andrew would be offered a trial to start on Monday 8th May. Andrew had just changed his phone number the day before and left the office unaware of the placement offer. He was not due back into North Wales Training until Tuesday 9th May. After numerous phone calls and home visits, Andrew was contacted. North Wales Training purchased safety boots for Andrew for him to be able to be granted access to the site.
We delighted that Refurbs has been able to play some small part in Andrew securing paid employment, he fully deserves this opportunity, he was a dedicated and committed member of the team and we wish him all the success in the future.Kevin Barry – General Manager, Refurbs Flintshire
The placement started as planned. Andrew worked on the hygiene shift, cleaning the machines. Feedback from Margaret at Parry and Evans was again fantastic. Andrew work ethic was exceptional. By the second week of his work trial he had been promoted to Quality Control. Parry and Evans contacted the agency who supplied their staff, Vital People, to request he be offered employment. Andrew was given a full time contract as of 22nd May 2017. Andrew has now completed his first month’s employment.
Andrew stated that he intended to buy a new push bike with his first pay packet as he had been using the same bike for the previous ten years. Andrew is delighted with the support he has received and feels that the ESP contract has changed his life.
“I intend to buy a new bike with my first months’ salary and I am enjoying every minute at Parry & Evans. I’d like to thank everyone at North Wales Training for changing my life”Andrew Hughes