I graduated in July 2008, as a BSc computer graduate. During graduation week it dawned on me about the sheer number of graduates that qualify and the battle I would face to get a new job. It was particularly difficult for me because I could not join any graduate schemes from the blue-chip companies due to not achieving a qualifying grade. I will never know if this was that down to my circumstances during university or my dyslexia.
It was very clear to me that the job market within the computer field was going to explode and the market was not brilliant before 2003. (http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/IT-job-market-in-recession).
During the Bsc Computer course, the topic of social divide stuck in my mind, therefore, I decided to get a job within the education sector. I struggled to get there from July 2008 – Dec 2008. In July I decided to volunteer within LCIL ( Leicester Centre of Integrated Living). It would most likely get me a foot in the door. Whilst volunteering I was looking for jobs in retail but I not successful. I tried looking for jobs abroad because I felt economic markets were more economically stable (African, and Indian, whilst the European, G8 Markets were in
In May 2009 I was really fed up and still determined to get a job that I would be happy in. I decided to take a new approach to my job search. One of the first things I did was to signup up to job agencies and secondly contact a dyslexia specialist, and
I went to the various job agencies and explained I wanted a job. I went to one particular agency which really impressed me by the number of job advertisements, plus the company had a great reputation. I went through the registration process which was an informal discussion about job goals etc. and then they tested me on my typing skills and speed. Before taking the test I informed them that I had Dyslexia. I took the test and they told me that I was too slow and could not get a job with them and be able to register.
I was not aware that as a graduate I could use the careers service as a lifeline. I was told by a teacher in Chichester that I could use my previous university facilities. After meeting the careers service they pointed out some mistakes I was making in my job applications.
I learnt how to use the personal specification properly, not mentioning my dyslexia in my application forms.
At the job centre, I felt jobseekers are just seen as “ no one.” Staff members just see the person as a number. Some staff just sign off documents not giving individual attention to people with or without a disability, putting jobseekers on programmes so they achieve the target’s set by governments.
I was put on three programmes, one was by Apex. The support I needed by Apex was not given to me. All I needed was for someone to read my applications before sending them off to employers to ensure there were no spelling or grammatical errors. The staff member could not comprehend why I was still unemployed. One or two staff members came to me for informal advice on asking how to help their clients with the application forms. Remploy was determined to put me in a retail job. I requested on numerous occasions that I didn’t want to work in the Retail sector and I was put on a course which taught me about the basic skills needed for retail. The information was not relevant to me especially since I had previously helped my dad in his business for many years (since 1997.)
The dyslexia specialist arranged for me to volunteer again within South Leicestershire College. I was promised that I would get a job afterwards. I started volunteering within SC in autumn 2009. By December 2009 I had done nearly 180 applications only getting 4 interviews and getting no jobs.
In 2010 I still continued my search for a job whilst volunteering nearly 35
Using the skills I gained from DMU careers and workshops I had attended for the previous 4 years I put my heart and soul into finding a job. It was
It was difficult to see the progress of peers and family members who were either younger than me in stable jobs or not relying on the welfare state.
Over the years the Jobcentre has caused me additional stress for example when I moved from Leamington spa to Leicester they lost my paperwork, therefore, my claimant was delayed by nearly 3 weeks. It took hours trying to speak to the right person over the phone to assist me. In July 2012 I got sanctioned for missing a signing date. I managed to write a letter of apology to them explaining the missed date and they unsanctioned me.
On the other hand, the jobcentre
My DEA Vicki Barnes, Informed me that there was
The feedback I got from the interview was positive:
- Didn’t articulate clearly on a particular answer
- Another candidate had more experience than me
I started in January working with Liz on understanding the concept of RtC. I assisted her on completing the support plans for various clients. I was conscious that as part of my Support Plan I was going to get receive a qualification as an accredited Support Broker. Time flew by, hours became days, days became weeks, weeks became months. I asked Liz about what was happening in relation to the qualification. She said she was waiting to hear back from the Jobcentre and Steve Cooper ( Ceo of LCIL) to find some more support brokers. Eventually, DEAs found an additional job seeker who wanted to be an accredited Support Broker. By the end of
On 12th March the course began and Steve my Support Broker explained the course modules. I was not happy with the speed of the course. I found the course very boring and the information received was not relevant to me as I was already in the role. For
By the End of
They’re very many occasions when I considered backing out of RtC and quitting volunteering at LCIL because I felt that I was undervalued and it was pointless continuing volunteering. I was thinking that from previous experience SLC who had never recruited me and that LCIL would do the same.
By end of
In July I was still not progressing in the position like many others out there, remaining unemployed and still in the same position
After coming back from Tanzania I spoke to the head of School in Tanzania for opportunities in the near future just in case LCIL don’t stick with their word. I volunteered for another 2 months until I was officially given a job at LCIL in October. From January – Oct I did over 100 applications in various companies and
Yes, I am happy that LCIL offered me a job, but I believe I only got recruited because of my perseverance and effort. Would another disabled person have been able to go through all of this?
Another aspect of employing a person with a disability is the usability aspect of the website within the career section. Some online applications are so confusing to use. Another agonising thing is when a website completely goes away e.g. http://www.schoolrecruitmentagency.com which provided a portal for jobs in the education sector but at this website funded by the government, they decided to remove it. Now jobs within the education sector are split
In conclusion, more needs to done to support disabled back into employment. Employers need to be educated about having a disabled person and the statistical impact when one in ten are dyslexic.
As mentioned in October 2013 Chris finally employed me at Leicester centre of
Then from that point