Tom Dawes

Name of delivery partner: Blackpool and The Fylde College
Name of participant: Tom Dawes

How did Tom hear about the programme?

Tom attended an information day at Seasiders Learning Centre regarding the opportunities for employment at The Range in Blackpool, having been initially referred to the event by his work coach at the Jobcentre Blackpool. At the information day Tom was given details of the course taking place within Seasiders Centre. This included a 2 weeks course at the Centre, one week work experience at The Range and finally an interview with the employer at the end of the work experience. If successful the participant would be offered employment at The Range.

Toms journey

Tom had been unemployed for quite some time. The only paid work he had ever done was working with his friend within a small shop in Blackpool Centre, which only gave Tom a few weeks paid work. Tom had been on various courses via the Jobcentre which helped him develop his maths and English qualifications. Whilst training with other providers within Blackpool he had also participated in various work experience activities. This included working in a printing retail shop, helping out as a kitchen assistant within a café and finally helping put on a van delivering and picking up in furniture for a local charity. Tom felt he was lacking self-confidence and a lot of his time was spent alone in his bedroom at home. Tom was really looking to gain some confidence, develop his employability skills, meet other people and the goal was for him to obtain paid employment.

Barriers Tom had to overcome

Tom felt his biggest barrier was his self-confidence. Before joining the group for the course he was anxious about meeting other people and also participating within a group whilst on the course. Tom lacked confidence in interviews, public speaking and working with others. The course ensured these issues were addressed, Tom with the help of tutors was able to focus on specific employability skills he required and with thorough interview preparation he would gain employment.

Tom also felt that due to his visible tattoos he may have an issue gaining employment. This was discussed with the employer in this case and we were able to assure Tom that this wasn’t an issue. This also helped Tom’s belief that he could be successful on the course and achieve his goal of paid employment.

What interventions and actions did the project undertake with Tom?

During the course as part of the Access to Employment, Tom was encouraged to assess, evaluate and build his own existing employability, social and personal skills. Also at the same time at Seasiders learning centre we helped build the individuals, self-esteem and their own belief in gaining employment.

Tom participated with all the classroom activities and was able to develop his interview skills alongside his public speaking skills.

Tom also achieved E3 certificate award in Employability skills and E1 Functional skills ICT with attending the course.

Tom completed his one week work experience with the employer and he really enjoyed the experience. He fitted in well with the store team and the manager was really pleased with Tom’s overall performance.

How has Tom benefited from being involved?

Due to Toms overall attitude and commitment to completing all aspects of the course including the two weeks within the classroom and the one weeks work experience he was able to improve his self-confidence and his ability to work within a team of people. Whilst on the work experience Tom was successful at the interview stage and was offered paid employment with The Range as the employer. Tom was taken on as a retail assistant. His start date of employment was 24/09/18 and he will be employed for a minimum of thirteen weeks with a possible end date of Christmas eve.

After speaking to Ian Garstang the general manager at The Range he has mentioned how Tom’s confidence has grown since becoming employed and although he is still learning Tom’s overall attitude and commitment to the work cannot be faulted.

What skills has Tom learned?

On speaking to Tom, he feels he has stepped into the role fairly well. He understands the pressure and stress of working within a retail environment in what is their busiest time of year. Tom feels he has a good rapport with customers and is always happy to help. Tom also feels he gets on well with his work colleagues and is willing to learn all different aspects and expectations within his role.

Tom feels more confident within himself now and is able to adapt to different situations laid out to him within the working environment.

What are Toms future plans?

Tom would like to continue in paid employment. He isn’t 100% sure as to the route he would like to take up next but he is looking to remain in paid employment. Tom feels he has been able to develop his customer service skills alongside building his own self-confidence. Tom has found he has adjusted well to working within a team of people and is now looking to progress and improve these skills further.

What Tom had to say about the programme?

‘I feel that participating on the course including the work experience has really helped me improve my self-confidence. Although the course was a challenge, I fully enjoyed the experience. The course has helped to give me the opportunity to move into paid employment.’