Overcoming barriers to secure employment

Artur joined the Employment Support for Adults with Mental Health Issues Project in September 2014, after being referred by his Jobcentre Disability Employment Advisor.

Artur suffers from Tourettes Syndrome and a heart condition, coupled with anxiety and depression, Artur found securing work difficult.

Artur emigrated from Poland in 2007 and had years of experience as a Plasterer and Tiler in his native country. Unfortunately despite his previous experience, employers failed to see past his disabilities.

Employment consultant, Patrick Hyde, decided to enrol Artur into several workshops to move him closer to the labour market. He attended employability skills related workshops, a Confidence and Motivation Workshop and started training for a CSCS card (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) so that he could apply for work in the construction sector.

By mid October, Artur had passed his CSCS test and received his ID card. His hard work and efforts were paying off. Kennedy Scott began marketing Artur to agencies advertising construction roles in the area. On paper, Artur ticked all the right boxes, and his CV received interest from prospective employers, but unfortunately at interview stage they were unable to see past his health problems. By mid November, still unemployed, Artur was beginning to doubt himself and as a result his depression worsened and he was signed off sick for four weeks.

Artur returned to Kennedy Scott in December. In order to increase his job prospects, it was suggested that he applied for roles in other employment sectors. Leah Forsyth from Kennedy Scott was instrumental in assisting with securing Artur a maintenance technician job at Luton’s MFA Bowl. Artur soon got to grips with the preventative and emergency maintenance duties of the bowling alley, working behind the scenes, keeping the key machinery of the business operational.

After a couple of months in his new job it was evident that Artur was feeling much happier in work. His employer was so pleased with his performance, he offered Artur the opportunity to shadow and learn from the Head Technician, who was approaching retirement, offering Artur the role when it became available. In the meantime the employer had plans to develop Artur further and bring him into a customer facing role as a security officer in the bowling alley and arcade.

With gentle persuasion and encouragement from his Kennedy Scott advisers, Patrick and Leah, (who continue to support Artur whilst in work) Artur agreed he would attend a Door Supervisor Training course, sourced and paid for by Kennedy Scott.

Five days later Artur completed the Door Supervisor Training, he returned to Kennedy Scott full of smiles to thank Patrick and Leah for all of their help. Artur said: “I will call my mum on Skype so she can see me smile.”

Leah responded by saying: “It was all you Artur, we just gave you the push to do it”.

Artur has since received his Door Supervisor Certificate. He continues to work at MFA bowl and has a great future ahead.

On Friday 19 June, Artur was recognised in the Adult Learners’ Week Bedfordshire and Luton Awards during a ceremony at the University of Bedfordshire. Artur received the Learning into Work Award which recognises an individual in Bedfordshire or Luton whose learning has helped them into employment. He also received the most prestigious award of the evening, the Adult Learning Champion Trophy.