Aged 35, Swansea resident Nathan Evans worked in production and labouring and enjoyed both jobs. Life was ticking along nicely until Nathan had a serious accident on his mountain bike. The accident resulted in a significant injury to his elbow which required surgery. Recovery was slow and it became obvious that this injury would not allow him to cope with the physical demands of his previous jobs. Nathan began a period of unemployment that lasted for 5 years. This stressful experience damaged his confidence and left him feeling very low.
Nathan’s Job Centre Work Coach referred him to Workways +, the service dedicated to helping people improve their lives through employment, training and volunteering. Workways+ assigned Nathan a mentor, Angela Law, to develop his skills and build his confidence to help get him into employment. They also assigned him an Employment Liaison Officer, Alyson Davies, to identify job opportunities and make introductions into potential employers.
Angela started working with Nathan helping him build his confidence, develop his CV, focus on what sort of work he would like and be able to do, job search and preparing him for job interviews. In September19 Angela and Alyson arranged the funding for a ‘Paid Work Opportunity’ (PWO) for Nathan with a local company AWE Aluminium. A PWO is a service Workways+ can offer where they pay the wages of an employee for up to 12 weeks. This way the employer and employee can judge whether they have a future together without it costing the employer anything. Nathan started the PWO and immediately impressed the management. In November 19 it was identified that a forklift licence would benefit Nathan and his employer. Workways+ identified a course and paid all the costs. Nathan passed his ‘counter-balance forklift’ course, further strengthening his skills, qualifications and increasing his ability to carry out tasks at AWE Aluminium. In recognition of his hard work and ability, in December 2019 AWE Aluminium offered Nathan a job as a Fabricators Assistant. Within 10 months he had been promoted to Team Leader- an outstanding achievement.
Nathan said “Workways+ helped me in many ways. My mentor Angela Law was fantastic and made me feel comfortable talking about myself and my lack of experience. I was assisted in CV building, interview techniques, obtained a fork truck licence and found a work placement while building a new found confidence, all within weeks. As daunting as it seemed, my work experience was far from what I expected. I was placed in an environment in which I had no experience and knew nobody, but in no time at all I became a competent
and welcomed member of a team of people who I would now consider to be my friends.
Workways+ is an exceptional organisation that massively contributed to the confident working man I am today, thanks to workways+, 12 months on I still hold a job at AWE.
I would highly recommend Workways+ to anybody looking for assistance back to work, with very helpful professional and friendly people who catered to my specific needs in my struggle to work. I would not have and love the job I have, without them. I can’t express how amazing they have been”.
Wayne Evans, Manager of AWE Aluminium said, “Nathan has worked really hard since he was introduced by Workways+ and he has settled into his role as fabricator well. From the start he has shown that he is hardworking and responsible – qualities which have helped him in becoming team leader within his department. We offered him the position and he jumped straight in and made an impact straightaway. We have no doubt he will do a great job for us going forward.”
Workways+ mentors help people develop skills and build confidence. Workways+ Employment Liaison Officers work closely with employers helping them to recruit Workways+ participants.
Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. Workways + is available in Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.