Workways + support leads to great job for single mother

With children growing up, single mother Sharon Evans aged 41 was keen to get back into employment. A former Operator Mechanic in Communications within the Royal Navy, Sharon’s life was on a positive course. However, whilst serving in the Navy Sharon had a serious accident causing physical injury. During this stressful period, Sharon’s mother sadly passed away. These two traumatic events led to depression, a condition Sharon continues to successfully manage.

To help her find a job Sharon approached the employment support service Workways+. Workways + helps people improve their lives through employment support, skills training, work experience and volunteering. Workways+ assigned Sharon a mentor Iain Forbes to work with her on a one to one basis. Iain helped Sharon develop her CV, interview skills and gain confidence in public speaking. Speaking at interviews was one part of the employment process that Sharon had difficulties with and found stressful. To help overcome this Iain conducted mock interviews and coached her in how she should answer difficult questions.

Workways + then assigned Sharon an Employment Liaison Officer, Lesley Nicolson, to help her decide what she would like to do and then search for appropriate jobs. Lesley identified a local company, Green Hat Consulting as a potential employer. Green Hat had a job position for an office administrator. This appealed to Sharon and an interview was arranged. Lesley discussed the position with Ian James, Director, Green Hat Consulting and arranged for Workways+ to fund a 16 week ‘Paid Work Opportunity’. A PWO is a service that benefits both the employee and employer. The Workways+ PWO funds the wages for the prospective employee for 16 weeks, which gives the employee and employer time to get to know each other and decide whether it is the right opportunity for both of them, before the employer commits any funding.

Sharon excelled in her interview and was employed for 16 weeks on a Workways+ ‘PWO’. A delighted Ian James was so pleased with Sharon that on completion of the ‘PWO’, Green Hat Consulting offered her a full time job.

Sharon Evans said, “I am really happy with my job with Green Hat. It has given me back my confidence and helped financially. I enjoy going to work and every day I am learning new things. I feel I have a great future here. I cannot thank Workways+ enough for the support they have given me. They are very good at

what they do and I would recommend them to anyone looking to get into work”

Ian James said, “Sharon is a great addition to our team and we are expanding and Sharon’s role will grow as well. This is our first time employing someone via a Paid Work Opportunity and I have say it has been very good. We did not look at it as a way of saving money but as a way of given someone a real go at getting the job. It is a big improvement on relying on interviews. Workways+ offers a great service and they work hard at supporting businesses as well as people looking for jobs.”

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