Workways catches up with Past Participant Ian Thomas
The Workways+ employment project will build on the success of the first EU-backed Workways project which helped 12,000 people in South West Wales between 2009 and 2015.
Backed by £7.5 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, Workways+ helps local people overcome the barriers which prevent them from finding employment by providing support with job search, CVs, applications forms, interview skills, telephone techniques, access to training and paid work experience, work trials and taster days for some participants. Participants are then matched with local businesses, helping them gain the vital skills and experience needed to find long term employment.
We caught up with past participant Ian Thomas to see how his life had changed since working with Workways. NPT Homes tenant Ian Thomas had worked all his adult life until his world was turned upside down, his job at Penscynor Wildlife Park came to an end when the park closed, his relationship was breaking down and he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Ian was having multiple seizures caused by personal stress and lost his driving license due his illness resulting in him being out of work for nearly 10 years. Ian lost all his confidence and didn’t know how to get back into employment. He approached Workways back in 2012, where he was allocated personal mentor Rebecca James who met with him regularly, worked on his CV and helped build his confidence. Ian was offered paid work experience at Tesco’s Neath Abbey, where on completion he was offered a permanent job and 4 years on he is happier than ever.
Ian said “I am so grateful to Workways for helping me find work. My mentor Rebecca helped me so much, she boosted my confidence and encouraged me to pursue opportunities that I perhaps wouldn’t have done so on my own. I am happier now than I’ve ever been, being back in work has boosted my confidence, reduced my stress levels and the daily routine means I now have a more active and healthier lifestyle resulting in me losing 5 stone in weight. I would recommend Workways+ to anyone that is looking to get back in to employment, the training opportunities and paid work experience they offered really helped me find not just a job but a career”.
Mr Steven Denny, Fresh Food Manager said “Workways have done a great job in getting people back to work, in particular Ian Thomas who came to us 4 years ago, he’s a fantastic worker and is excellent with our customers”.