On Tuesday 25 June, students, employers, friends, families, Carers, EmployAbility and Surrey Choices enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations at Denbies Wine Estate, for the annual EmployAbility Making a Difference Awards. Amongst 16 of this years winners, was Jacob.
Jacob was a student at East Surrey College and enrolled onto the Supported Internship Programme at The Computer Shop. Jacob worked every Tuesday and Wednesday, term time only. He is on the Autistic Spectrum and has Tourette’s Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Nystagmus (rapid involuntary movements of the eye). Jacob can struggle to initiate and maintain a conversation due to this stutter.
Jacob has completed his level 3 in Photography, however has always had a passion to work with computers and to become an IT Technician. When searching for his placement, Jacob was proactive in searching for computer shops within the area.
During the searching process, we contacted The Computer Shop in Merstham who had their reservations to take on any students. They however agreed to a one-day job trial.
Jacob completed the job trial and the store manager was very impressed and he expressed that Jacob “exceeded his expectations and would love to have Jacob join the team”. On Jacob’s first day he managed to fix 5 different devices with minimal support and no job coaching.
Jacob preferred to have no job coaching support and therefore communication was via text message before and at the end of his shift. The manager also felt as though Jacob did not require job coaching and was happy for EmployAbility not to support.
After a few weeks within the programme, Jacob was learning lots and fitted in well within the team. Jacob is a visual learner so was hands on immediately, managed practical problem solving and troubleshooting effectively. He started to see great potential within his placement and the environment, he was offered paid employment over the Christmas period. A few months after the Christmas break, Jacob was offered a permanent position which he happily accepted.
While Jacob was enjoying his work at The Computer Shop, he participated in a paid research project with the BBC. Jacob was recorded through one-to-one interview to see how people use BBC Sound Apps. Jacob kept a diary of his experience using the app and fed back how improvements with the app can be made.
The Surrey Choices EmployAbility service support people with disabilities or additional needs to find and sustain work. For further information on Surrey Choices EmployAbility team and how they could support you into work please contact: 01483 806806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org