After constantly applying for jobs and hearing that she was unsuccessful due to a lack of experience, Shelly Lay was at all-time low. Shelly had returned to Wales after living in Canada for six years to discover that she was unable to attend any local comprehensive schools due to only having 1 school year left.
With no qualifications, Shelley eagerly waited until she was 16 and enrolled in her local college where she began studying a Level 2 Business Administration and Level 2 Hair and Beauty QCF Qualification. On completing both qualifications, Shelly began looking for work but found it difficult to get an interview due to her lack of experience.
Shelley was determined to find employment and continued to search daily on a variety of recruitment sites including Careers Wales and Direct Gov for any suitable vacancies. Two years later, Shelly was still unemployed, hadn’t been selected for any interviews and was now severely lacking in self-confidence. She began to question her abilities and became increasingly anxious when it came to applying for work.
Then, Shelly discovered Educ8’s Jobs Growth Wales Supported Employment programme. She was really excited about the scheme as it was aimed at unemployed 16-24 year olds, providing them with the opportunity of a 6 month paid work placement with mentoring support with the potential for the position to be made permanent.
Educ8 supported Shelley to apply for a receptionist placement opportunity at Meinir Evans Law Practice and within a week she was invited for an interview. Two days later Shelley was offered the opportunity. Company Director Meinir stated that Shelley was very professional but extremely shy and wanted to provide an opportunity for her to prove herself in a challenging environment.
‘After two weeks I noticed that Shelley was still struggling to get to grips with the role so I decided to mentor her for a while until she had the confidence and belief in herself. After a month of shadowing along with the ongoing support from Educ8, Shelley finally came out of her shell and started taking control of the front desk, she was still a little shy when it came to dealing with customers but that would develop with time’ said Meiner.
Now, 5 months into the scheme Meinir couldn’t live without Shelley. She is confident in dealing with customers and even manages the office completely unsupervised. At present Shelley is learning to drive but is struggling to afford lessons whilst being on national minimum wage and paying for public transport. Meinir is aware of this and has decided to pay for Shelley to have 10 lessons to help her towards passing her test, Meinir said ‘I wanted to show Shelley how much she means to the company and wanted to repay her for all that she has done since starting on Jobs Growth Wales Supported Employment Scheme.’
Shelley has since discovered that Meinir Evans Law Practice has taken over another company and will be doubling in size meaning they will be recruiting another Jobs Growth Wales candidate who will report directly to Shelley.
Shelley would also like to that Educ8 for their continued support throughout the JGW Scheme and now has so much confidence and self – belief that she has signed up to start a Customer Service QCF Qualification with Educ8 in order to progress in her new career.
‘I owe so much to Educ8 and believe that Jobs Growth Wales Supported Employment has given me and so many others the opportunity into employment that I may never have got’ stated Shelly.
Shelley would find interacting with customers extremely difficult. Within 5 months of being in employment she has grown dramatically and now has the confidence to run the office completed unsupervised while Meinir is out with clients. Her self- esteem has significantly improved and although she is worried about a new Jobs Growth Wales candidate reporting to her, she is taking small steps and is willing to tackle new responsibilities.