Billy was referred on to our Specialist Employment Programme by his local Jobs & Benefits Office in May 2018. After working in a local supermarket for 31 years he was made redundant and was keen to secure a new job in retail.
Billy met with his Employment Advisor on a weekly basis to work on his individual action plan. This included creating a new CV, practicing his interview skills, applying for local jobs, and attending all soft skills and accredited training courses on offer.
Interviews can be very difficult for people with hearing loss, and Billy hadn’t had an interview for 30 years! Within 6 months of registering on the programme, his confidence really grew. He registered as a volunteer for Action on Hearing Loss and helped the Information team each week, organising the equipment room and creating a spreadsheet of equipment in the Derry office.
Work placements at local retailers helped to show Billy’s skills and hard work ethic. As a result of a successful placement, Billy was offered a temporary part time Christmas job at a large retail business. When this ended, his Employment Adviser continued to support him with various job applications, focusing on interview practice.
After a further 8 months of applying for jobs and attending interviews, Billy’s determination to secure a new job paid off and he was offered a permanent job at his local Sainsbury’s for four days a week. Sainsbury’s have been very impressed with Billy’s reliability and hard work, and Billy is delighted to have a new job.
Kieran McLaughlin, Sainsbury’s manager, said: “Billy is a confident and hardworking colleague. He has adapted to the new role very quickly and his previous retail experience in a local supermarket has helped him do so. Billy has great relationships with his co-workers and has found it very easy to ask for support and to share his own knowledge”.
Since getting a job, Billy is now registered on the Action on Hearing Loss Workable programme, which provides support to people who are deaf or have a hearing loss in work and their employers.
Billy said: “I like working at Sainsbury’s. The Employment programme helped me learn new skills and I’m really pleased that I have now found a job.”
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The Specialist Employment Programme is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for Economy. Match funded by Department for Communities.