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Jane Wale is back in work for the first time in two years

Leicester woman Jane Wale is back in work for the first time in two years thanks to a new employment programme.

Jane, 43, who has a mild hearing impairment, felt she was being increasingly overlooked by employers as she looked to return to the workplace after leaving the care sector in 2014.

But her luck changed after voluntarily signing up to the Links to Work programme in Leicestershire, run by Working Links and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and European Social Fund.

The Links to Work programme supports unemployed people who are over the age of 25 and have multiple barriers to work.

Jane was partnered with personal consultant Duncan Bell, who coordinated tailored support for Jane, including training, confidence-building and targeted job searching. Duncan was joined by health facilitator Hema Sonigra and tutor Rachel Beck.

Jane said: “I was having to cut into my savings when I was out of work. There were jobs out there but I didn’t have the qualifications.

“Duncan and the team have been very helpful and helped me build my confidence back up. Because I’m hard of hearing, I can be very shy and find it hard to join in group conversations. The courses have been very helpful too and my new CV is excellent.”

Duncan said: “Jane engaged on the programme wholeheartedly, attending up to three times a week to gain support through individual discussions, training and supported job searches. Jane was always forthcoming and receptive to different ideas, whether on how to improve how she searched for jobs, completed applications or scoping out new sectors to work in.”

When feeling ready for the workplace once more, Jane worked with the programme’s employer solutions team to find suitable opportunities – and proactively engaged with Duncan to source potential employers to explain her situation and show how employable she was, rather than just handing out CVs.

This approach paid off, and Jane impressed managers at a local employment agency and landed a full-time position in a warehouse, picking up a salary for the first time in two years.

Jane added: “My job is going very well. Everyone seems to be friendly and helpful. I have aspirations to move into a career working with animals but that’s further down the line.”

To find out more about how Working Links helps communities, call 0800 917 9262 or contact us

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