James’ Story

James is a resident from St.Austell. He was working in a local call centre before his contract was ended. He heard about the work experience opportunity we were running for our tenants and applied. He was successful and spent two weeks working in our tenancy negotiation team.

During his work experience, he worked closely with Jo, our Employment Coordinator and she helped him update his CV and trained him on employability skills. James used the toolkit she provided and has now found work. He is now working for a national cleaning company and is really happy to be back in work.

How did you hear about the Employment Support Ocean are offering?

I spoke to someone from the national careers service at the job centre. They had a leaflet about the work Ocean are doing. I then took the leaflet and spoke to my job centre advisor about the possibility of applying for the work experience option. We discussed what it would entail, they had a job description which explained the tasks and I submitted my CV for consideration. I had an interview at the Ocean office and luckily I was successful. I also got feedback from my interview which helped me when I went for my current role.

What challenges were you facing getting back into work?

I really lost my confidence after leaving the call centre.  I didn’t feel I had enough work experience to get other work and the lack of confidence was really stopping me. I struggle with a possible form of dyslexia and found filling in forms and doing my CV really hard. I also don’t drive and if I couldn’t find a job giving enough hours we wouldn’t be better off financially.

I had been out of work for some time and seeing the opportunity for work experience and to get specialist help from their Employment Coordinator seemed like a great option. I also thought getting more experience would help me hopefully find a job.

I was right, in fact the job I’ve now got, I applied for twice before and had not been successful. Having a new CV and recent work experience as well using the toolkit I was provided with gave me the confidence to go for it again and this time I got it. I’ve been working there for about a month now and the impact it’s had on my life has been fantastic.

How did Jo, our Tenant Employment Coordinator help you?

In many ways, being able to do the work experience really helped and Jo helped me with updating my CV and looking at options for me.

We looked at things like interview skills, and how to stand out on application forms and Jo even gave me a tool kit to take away and use in the future.

She talked about joining recruitment agencies and looking for jobs that aren’t necessarily advertised.

Having an up-to-date CV and cover letter really helped me to start applying for things.

The work experience also helped improve my confidence so much, that I really came away positive and ready to apply for jobs that maybe I wouldn’t have done before.

What difference has being back into work made for you and your family?

It’s made such a difference! Mainly with our finances – I’m able to keep up with the bills now and put aside money to save which has never been a possibility before. It will make Christmas a lot easier this year which I’m really pleased about.

The hours I work mean I still get to spend time with my family as well as earn money to support them which is great. I also feel it has given me more time for myself and I’m really enjoying being able to provide for my family.

If there was one thing you would tell other tenants about getting support what would it be?

Just go for it, you may just get the help and advice you’ve been missing out on, that can get you a job and change your life!