The project leads for the Getting a Life project in Oldham were Ken Stapleton and Sean Cook. For more information about transition for young people with learning disabilities in Oldham please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at Connexions.
|Young People’s Leadership||Job Successes in Oldham||Michael’s story|
On 8th October 2009, 14 young people and their parents met up at the Link Centre, Oldham’s Independent Living Centre, to talk about the Getting a Life programme and how they could influence real change for their lives.
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Four young people with learning disabilities who have taken part in the Getting a Life programme in Oldham have secured paid jobs, with support from Together into Employment (TiE), Oldham’s supported employment service.
Michael (20) is now in full time paid employment, working for Blue Arrow as a warehouse operative. He enjoys his job (especially the night shifts) and has more confidence as well as some new friends.
When he started to work with an employment mentor from TiE, they found out that his main ambition was to get a job. Through vocational profiling, the mentor found out that Michael liked being outdoors and had an interest in gardening. This helped them to arrange a work experience placement and a Princes’ Trust project.
Michael learnt a lot from these experiences and although he found some aspects challenging, he was still determined to get a job rather than going to college. When Michael left school, his mentor supported him to job search and he was soon successful in gaining his first full time job, at Blue Arrow.
Michael still meets up with his employment mentor around his shifts, as he wants to complete his ASDAN Employability Award to add to his qualifications.
David (20) now works 20 hours a week at Dronsfields, a leading supplier of new and second hand Mercedes spare car parts. He is a valued member of the team, described as friendly, polite, punctual and reliable, and is really proud of his achievements in getting paid employment. David also has a severe learning disability.
Whilst at school, David had a work experience placement in a manufacturing company supported by TiE, but had decided to go on to college rather than going straight into paid work. At college, David had another person-centred review and decided that he wanted to get a paid job when he left college.
With support from Oldham College, David started a long-term work placement at Dronsfields, where he picked, marked, packaged and dispatched parts for their large mail order business. He and his family also had support from an employment mentor from TiE to help them prepare for paid employment.
David’s mentor arranged an extension to his placement, with paid employment as the end goal. In July 2010, David left Oldham College, having secured a paid job at Dronsfields of two days a week. Since then, David has increased his hours with support and advice from his mentor, and has qualified for Working Tax Credits.
Two other young people are now working part time. Claire (26) works two hours a week as an administrator, is studying for an IT qualification at college and volunteers one day a week for Oldham Council. Antony (20) works two hours a week as an IT assistant, and is also working on an IT qualification. Both are looking to increase their hours of paid employment with support from TiE.
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