With multiple health issues including severe arthritis, for Justin Davies-Jones getting a full time job was always going to be a challenge. At age 14, due to poor health, Justin left school without any qualifications. With low self-esteem and no work experience to call upon, aged 26, Justin was desperate to take control of his life.
Justin’s journey to a better life began when his Job Centre referred him to Workways+, the service dedicated to helping unemployed people make a better life for themselves.
Workways+ provided Justin with fully funded support, assigning him Sam Mears, an experienced Workways+ mentor to work with him on a one to one basis.
Sam helped Justin identify that a job as a forklift driver was something Justin could do and crucially would enjoy. With this as their number one goal, Sam researched and found a forklift operating training course. Workways+ paid for all the training, the driving test and the operator license. Justin was thrilled and took full advantage of this opportunity and soon passed the tests to become a qualified Fork Lift Vehicle Operator.
The next step was for Sam to help Justin with searching for a job, developing interview skills and most importantly helping to build his confidence. With ongoing support of Workways+, an absolutely delighted Justin was successful in getting his first ever job, as a fork lift driver for a local firm.
Justin said “I was born with my heart on the wrong side of my body; I have severe arthritis in my muscles and have an ileostomy bag. My health issues prevented me from getting a job. Life felt hopeless and I was desperate for help. Workways+ have been brilliant, my mentor Sam really boosted my confidence and gave me all the support I needed to get a forklift license. Sam then helped me find a full time job as a forklift driver. Most of all though Sam helped me see past my disabilities to reach my goals.”
Workways+ tackles the barriers that prevent individuals from finding employment. The project provides support with job searching, CVs, application forms, interview skills and access to training. Participants are also matched with local businesses, helping them gain the vital experience needed to find long term employment. Workways is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
Justin continued “Workways+ have been superb, they made me believe in myself and get my first ever qualification and a job. Through work my life has opened up. I now have new friends and my confidence has never been higher. I love having a regular wage and I have bought a car and now my partner and I have financial stability. I would thoroughly recommend Workways+ to anyone that is looking to get into employment, no matter what barriers they face.”