Case studies.

Some examples of people's experiences on their journey towards employment.

Case study 1 - Michael

Michael left school at 16 and began work as a stock room assistant.   He loved work and progressed over the next ten years to a managerial position.  He gained valuable customer service experience, dealing with customers and complaints.  He was responsible for ordering stock, placing orders, staff rosters, and ensuring the smooth running of the business.

Unfortunately Michael was involved in a serious car accident which involved surgery for both back and leg injuries.  Chronic pain became an issue and depression also took hold.  By the time Michael’s form arrived with Employability, Michael had not been working for over seven years and had become quite isolated and despondent.

From the first meeting, it was obvious that Michael would never be physically able for the rigours of a retail or stockroom environment.  Michael agreed to re-train with Roslyn Park College.  Here he completed a FETAC Level 5 in Business Studies and secured his ECDL.  He returned to Employability on completion of his studies and with the help of a Job Coach began to source employment.  

Together they looked at various options, including community employment, internships and paid employment. They worked extensively on interview skills as Michael’s confidence was low.  They applied for many positions and after several interviews, an internship position that involved customer service in a call centre was advertised.  The Job Coach approached the employer as Michael‘s Employer was entitled to the Wage Subsidy Scheme (The payment of €5.30 p/h towards his wages due to his disability which results in a shortfall in productivity).  Michael was interviewed and secured a full-time position with the company.   The Employer was happy to give Michael the support and encouragement he needed to return to full-time employment.  His confidence has grown and he has re-discovered his original desire to enjoy work and life.

Disclaimer: while these are representations of the service we provide, they are not based on one person in particular.

Case study 2 - Martin

Martin is a 40-year-old deaf man who required additional help in looking for a job because of communication difficulties.

Martin had worked in his fathers’ small construction business all his life. Unfortunately with the collapse in the construction industry, Martin found himself out of work for the last 6 years.

With the lack of work, Martin had become very low in himself; he explained he had never had an interview for a job and found sourcing work very difficult.
As a last resort, Martin considered working abroad with his brothers, something he did not want to do due to having a young family.

During our meetings, Martin explained his skills and showed a particular interest in carpentry. Although Martin had no formal training it was the only thing he felt he could do and had years of experience.

Over time we worked extensively on interview skills and began to source suitable jobs. Martin’s confidence grew and it became clear how eager Martin was on gaining employment.

I contacted a previous employer who had used our service in the past. I asked him to consider Martin for work experience and also give Martin an interview. Martin’s work experience involved assembling fitted kitchens. Martin excelled at the work and he got on well with his co-workers and managers. Although the employer was impressed, he was not in a position to offer Martin a job.

The work experience however did give Martin the confidence to proceed with job sourcing. He now had a current reference and the knowledge that he would be able to communicate comfortably with work colleagues. We contacted a well-known store close to Martin’s home for a general operative position. Martin was successful in his interview and is now working full-time assembling furniture for the store.

Disclaimer: while these are representations of the service we provide, they are not based on one person in particular.

Case study 3 - Emma

‘Emma’ was referred to Employability by her Local Employment Service. She required the service and support of EmployAbility as she suffered from mental health difficulties.

She was coping with depression on a daily basis with the help of medication. Prior to joining our service Emma had attained a Degree in Finance and worked for a large company for a long time, however, this was interrupted by the onset of her periodic depression which led to a long stay in hospital. Regarding her depression, Emma received psychiatric support from the services provided by the hospital.

Taking this into account, for Emma part-time employment was the best option. With the link of Emma’s psychiatric supports, I could gather information and focus on Emma’s particular needs regards employment. Together we looked at different options, including community employment and paid employment. After several interviews, Emma obtained an administrative position on a Community Employment Programme. Here she spent a year upskilling and gaining confidence. Emma found the routine and structure of part-time work extremely beneficial and this gave her the confidence to pursue paid employment.

On completing her contract on the Community Employment Scheme, Emma returned to EmployAbility. Together we applied for several positions. After many interviews, Emma obtained a full-time administrative position with a local semi-state company.

The success of this placement relied on initial daily contact by phone between me (Emma’s job coach) and Emma so that she could air her concerns and for reassurance that she was doing well. This daily support was phased out to weekly support over a few months when Emma gained the confidence to successfully fulfil her daily tasks.

Disclaimer: while these are representations of the service we provide, they are not based on one person in particular.

Case study 4 - Debbie

‘Debbie’ is a 30-year-old female with a learning disability who lives with her parents and has received special education services since childhood. She attended a school for students with both physical and learning disabilities.

After school, Debbie volunteered at a local charity shop. This job really suited her outgoing personality; however, Debbie found multi-tasking quite stressful and felt that this was not the right match for her. Not knowing where to start looking for suitable work, Debbie’s mum made an appointment for her to register at her Local Employment Office. From here Debbie was referred to EmployAbility Dublin South and was allocated a job coach. After a few meetings with the job coach discussing jobs Debbie has had previously, and what she liked and disliked about certain tasks, Debbie decided that cleaning was a job she would enjoy. She loved cleaning at home and like this aspect of her previous position in the charity shop.

With the support of her parents, Debbie and her job coach began sourcing for a suitable cleaning position. Soon, an employer was sourced at a local secondary school. The employer was approached by the job coach who introduced Debbie and explained a little about Debbie’s abilities and experience. The position being offered by the employer was as a hygiene technician on a part-time basis. Although Debbie was receiving a weekly Disability Allowance she could earn up to 120 euros per week without her allowance being affected. This was very important to Debbie as she was afraid of losing her Disability Allowance altogether.

When Debbie was offered a position at the secondary school the terms and conditions were set out by Debbie’s employer. Lines of communication were essential between both the employer and the employment facilitator/job coach. Together they worked out the most effective way for Debbie to get a system in place so that she had a routine to complete her duties within the time frame of her shift.

After the initial teething period Debbie settled in very well to her new job. She gained so much confidence and became friendly with the other staff. Her job coach remained in the background as support should she or her employer need any assistance. For the Employer, it was a learning process that allowed both staff and students to enhance their understanding of People with a Disability accessing mainstream employment.

Disclaimer: while these are representations of the service we provide, they are not based on one person in particular.

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