Melanie was desperate to find work, but she believed her circumstances would not allow her do so. Melanie is a single parent, has three children, two of which are autistic. She also suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that makes it difficult to stand for long periods, has no qualifications and has never been in a position to work. Melanie lacked confidence in herself and this more than anything held her back from achieving her employment goal. Melanie was convinced she would not succeed and she didn’t know which way to turn for support. Then she discovered Workways+, the service dedicated to helping people move into employment through support of a mentor and funded training.
Workways+ provided Melanie with a mentor, Angela Law to work with her on a one to one basis. Angela helped Melanie build her confidence and explore potential employment options. She proposed a series of training courses to help Melanie develop her skills and build a CV. Angela sourced appropriate training courses paid for by Workways+. Melanie completed Microsoft training, Excel Training and a Social Media course and attended weekly computer sessions with Learn Direct at Gorseinon Library. Angela then placed Melanie in a volunteering placement with Glaze IT, a local company, to further build her confidence.
The next stage was to help Melanie get a job. Angela arranged for Melanie to have a work trial within the recruitment and administration department of the Gorseinon based company Habitat Homecare. After a successful work trial, Habitat Homecare and Workways+ agreed to start a funded ‘Paid Work Opportunity’ (PWO). A PWO enables a company to employ a person that Workways+ is supporting at no cost to the Employer. The employee wage is paid directly through Workways+. A PWO is a 12 week opportunity to establish if an employee is happy within the role, and meets the needs of the employer.
Melanie completed the PWO and impressed her employers so much that they offered her a full time job.
Melanie said, “I had regular meetings with my Workways+ mentor Angela, we talked about my situation with my son, my lack of experience and confidence and to my surprise she was able to give me options I never knew would be possible. Workways arranged and attended my job interview with me and
explained my situation to the employer in a way I wouldn’t have been able to. I would have regular calls to see how I was doing or if there was anything I needed help or support with. My work experience has changed my life. I’ve gone from being at home every day, having little interaction with other people. I feel proud of how far I’ve come and that I’m now earning to provide for my family. I feel I’m positive role model for my son”.
Steve Davies, Managing Director, Habitat Homecare said, “Melanie joined the team at Habitat Homecare in late 2019 through the Workways+ scheme. At the time the company was growing and our workload was increasing hence the need to source an additional member for the team. Melanie has consistently developed and improved both personally and professionally ensuring that everyone who contacts our organisation is provided with the highest level of service and best candidate experience possible”.
Workways+ employ a team of ‘Employment Liaison Officers’ that are dedicated to supporting employers, helping them to recruit suitable staff from the base of unemployed people Workways+ supports.
Steve Davies continued “For our organisation and others, this paid work opportunity gave us the opportunity to initially select the right individual. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Workways+ scheme to other businesses as the support they provide from candidate selection, through initial introductions, person & role development is vital to ensure the placement is successful for all involved. The knowledge of the proposed candidates with both personal and professional overviews allowed us to make a more informed decision on the person who is right for us as an organisation and we are right for them”.
Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. Workways + is available in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.