The right support sees Tirath secure work after a lengthy search
Tirath had been out of employment for seven years when she joined Kennedy Scott in September 2015. Despite completing three employability programmes with previous providers, she struggled to secure work. Tirath left her previous job at Wolverhampton’s City Council Office in 2002 after thirteen years as a Clerical Officer, to go on maternity leave, but struggled to return because she couldn’t secure suitable childcare.
Tirath is profoundly deaf and relies on British Sign Language interpreters to assist with her communication. Past interpreters had been unreliable and frequently changed which caused “many frustrations” and left Tirath “feeling low and depressed.”
It was apparent at assessment stage that Tirath had multiple barriers to employment. She was unoptimistic about securing work, having been unsuccessful in the past. Multiple debts were also causing great stress to Tirath and her family and affecting her journey back to work.
A ‘Circle of Support’ was put in place for Tirath, and she was assigned a regular and reliable interpreter who she could build a good rapport with. Tirath was signposted to financial support services to advise her on money management and help resolve her debts. She was given support with the updating of her CV, cover letters, job searching skills and competencies. Tirath was initially anxious about upcoming interviews, but intense 1-2-1 support and mock interviews helped her to prepare.
In November, Tirath’s commitment to finding work was a step closer to paying off as she secured an interview and was determined to succeed by preparing and utilising KS’s resources to improve her confidence. She was successful and offered a part-time position as a Bank Staff Care Worker, with the interviewing Manager commenting on Tirath’s impressive performance at interview stage. Unfortunately the role was not a good fit. Despite this, Tirath remained in work whilst looking for a more suitable position with ongoing support from her Caseworker.
In December, Tirath secured a work placement, after spotting a vacancy with FlatWorldWorks, a digital services agency based in Wolverhampton. After a successful work trial, Tirath was offered a permanent full-time contract as an Administrative Assistant, outperforming more than 140 candidates who had applied for the role.
With the support of KS, FlatWorldWorks introduced suitable measures to help Tirath succeed, including regular interpreters and note takers and have arranged for everyone in the office to undertake deaf awareness training. Arrangements have also been put in place for all staff to learn basic BSL. Tirath has also produced a communication booklet for her colleagues in what has been described by her employer as a “two way communication process.”
Since beginning her new job in January, both KS and FlatWorldWorks have seen Tirath blossom, she has proactively approached managers and requested to take on additional projects. Tirath is also on hand to support other areas of the business when required. Her commitment to finding a job she enjoys has improved her quality of life, giving her financial security and new found confidence.
Tirath’s Caseworker has said: “for Tirath, having an accommodating employer has been the icing on the cake after securing a job she enjoys. She has never had anywhere near this kind of support from any previous employer and the change in her has been incredible. Before she started the job she was anxious and found it incredibly daunting, but she is now relaxed, motivated and driven.”
Tirath who is described by her Line Manager as an “asset,” has said: “her knowledge both in Bookkeeping and deaf awareness will help our company to grow further, we are pleased to have her on board.”
Not only has Tirath achieved personal success, she has also changed her employer’s attitude towards hiring somebody with a disability. As a result, FlatWorldWorks have now committed to working with KS in future to help others, including providing work placements. Recently they achieved distinction in becoming a “two tick” employer at the Job Centre to encourage jobseekers with disabilities to come to them in the future.
Tirath’s story of achievement encapsulates what Kennedy Scott is all about. We help 1000’s of jobseekers a year into work, but Tirath’s determination to break through her barriers and secure sustainable employment is remarkable. Through the right support and with her can-do attitude Tirath has overcome significant and multiple barriers to secure sustained employment and this has brought about a transformation in her life.
*SES is part- funded by the European Social Fund