A Banchory woman with learning difficulties, who for 14 years has been trying to gain work, is celebrating after getting her first-ever job thanks to the support provided by a work programme.
Shelley Urquhart, 32, has secured a job as a domestic assistant with a care home in her home town – despite her low confidence levels and worries that she did not have the reading and writing skills to ever find a job.
Shelley had found interviews difficult, because she felt that no one would employ her because of her disabilities, and so ended up selling herself short.
But now Shelley is enjoying her new independence – both socially and financially – thanks to the Momentum Skills’ Work Choice programme’s coaching which helped her to get a job at the Inchmarlo Care Home in Banchory where she is employed in housekeeping duties.
Shelley’s employment support officer encouraged and supported her to take those first steps into the work environment.
Work Choice is a Government-supported employment programme designed to assist people with disabilities to find and maintain employment. Work Choice also aims to support employers to employ more disabled people.
The Work Choice programme has helped rebuild Shelley’s confidence supporting her to get a job that she really enjoys.
Support workers assisted her in a variety of ways including helping with job hunting, filling in application forms, and brushing up on her interview techniques.
Shelley said: “Momentum Skills has been a fantastic help to me and for the first time I feel in control.
“The job has also had a huge impact on my life. It has helped me make new friends and has improved my social life. I am happy and have a new-found confidence.
“I feel a sense of achievement and I am really excited to have reached my goal and am looking forward to learning new skills and updating my current ones.”
Momentum Skills delivers the Work Choice programme in the Aberdeenshire area in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council’s Employability Service. It offers employers a tailored package of support, enabling them to offer work experience placements and job opportunities to disabled people participating in the programme.
To find out more, ask at your local JobCentre Plus or contact the Momentum Work Choice programme team on 0141 333 0567.