Welcome to the first in our series of blogs, showcasing some of the organisations who have signed up with us. This post is about Jobsworth, a small organisation which supports disabled people to find work.
When John took his friends to lunch, little did they realise that they were embarking on an exciting project.
At the start of 2019, John told Megan and Jennie that he wanted to take them to lunch as he had an idea he wanted to run by them.
“It sounded intriguing,” said Megan. “Bonus that he chose a nice pub!”
John had been inspired by the TV programme Employable Me, which follows disabled people in their hunt for paid work.
“One thing that struck me was that these were great candidates, but they lacked the communication skills to shine as they should,” said John.
He asked his friends if they knew of anything that existed for disabled job seekers.
Having been blind from birth, Megan could name organisations that would support people with the necessary skills, but nothing as practical as John was proposing. Jennie also had a physical impairment and added that she couldn’t think of anything locally. John felt that his experiences as both an employee and employer on interview panels meant he had something to offer people who experience additional challenges in their quest to find work.
“The real thing I felt we could offer is that the three of us have learned positive communication strategies,” John said. “We attend a public speaking club where we practice giving encouraging, constructive feedback to others.”
Megan commented that a solutions-focused approach is essential as a disabled person and that this should be an important part of what we offer.
Within a second coffee date, they had designed a series of three workshops that would help participants prepare for interviews and support people to improve their confidence.
“It’s very practical,” said John. “It’s almost like small-group mentoring.”
“We’re taking job hunting out of the job centre,” Megan added.
Jobsworth delivered its first series of workshops last autumn and they were a great success. One participant said that although they hadn’t been sure about the sessions, they really enjoyed the workshops and now felt more confident in work and life.
“I could see how they were much happier and more motivated than when we started,” said John.
Jobsworth are returning in July with a series of online workshops for disabled job seekers in Gloucestershire. Through small group sessions, they will be supported to hit the job market with storm. To find out more, visit Jobsworth’s listing here: