A North Wales man who says his life has been positively turned around by an employment programme has been shortlisted for a national award.
Scott Robertson, 22, of Deeside, has been shortlisted in the Significant Achievement category of the Employability Awards, run by the Employment Related Services Association.
Scott had suffered from confidence issues and never had a job before receiving support from North Wales Training, a subcontractor of employability, skills and offender rehabilitation provider Working Links.
Determined to succeed, Scott landed a volunteering opportunity at the mental health charity KIM Inspire which offers support to men, women and young people experiencing challenges to their wellbeing.
Scott started his work placement feeling apprehensive and worried but was soon put at ease by the friendly work environment and the feeling of inclusiveness. Scott worked well during his six months’ work placement and started to feel better about his life in general. There was no job at the end of his placement but Scott was invited to apply to become a volunteer with KIM in the office. After completing the rigorous accredited training followed by a month of volunteering and impressing his managers with his attitude and new-found skills, Scott was offered a job as Administration and IT Support Officer. Aged 21, this was the first paid employment Scott had since leaving school.
Scott has been employed by KIM for more than a year and is following a Foundation Apprenticeship in Administration. He has even become involved in facilitating men’s groups around mental issues and uses his experiences to support others.
Scott said: “Being nominated in the Significant Achievement category is unbelievable especially after winning the North Wales Training Customer of the Year award last year.
“To feel how I feel now is incredible and something I could only have ever dreamt of previously. A couple of years ago, I felt like my life meant nothing. I had left education having been bullied throughout most of my time in school and college and due to this my confidence was extremely low and I didn’t think I would be able to achieve anything in life.
“Over a year into being employed with KIM, and two years of being part of KIM overall I can say that North Wales Training and KIM have literally turned my life around. I have confidence that I never thought I would have, so much so that I have facilitated multiple groups for KIM, appeared on the radio and have given a public talk in front of 100 people. I am now very comfortable and happy with my life.
“I hope that I can inspire people who may be experiencing challenges that I have overcome and show them that they can make positive changes in their lives and to never say never and there is support out there to help good things being made possible.”
Liz Baker, Scott’s Training Advisor at North Wales Training, said: “Scott has been the model Apprenticeship learner. The standard of the work he has completed for his qualifications has demonstrated his dedication to his own development. It has been rewarding to see Scott’s confidence grow over the past fifteen months. He is an asset to the team at KIM and an inspiration to others.”
Annie Donovan, Director of Operations at KIM Inspire, said: “Scott is an inspirational young man who has embraced and met a great amount of challenges. His friendly and positive nature is an asset to the KIM team and he has become essential to the smooth running of the charity. We would like to congratulate him on this and his many other achievements.” The Employability Awards aim to showcase and champion best practice from across the employment support sector. Covering ten award categories, they have been judged by industry experts and demonstrate the breadth of work involved in supporting people into work. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on 29 June.
To find out more about Working Links helps communities, call 0800 917 9262 or contact us.
To find out more about KIM Inspire, call 01352 872 189 or visit www.kim-inspire.org.uk