A Cardiff man has praised the work of Working Links’ Work Programme team after landing his first job in two years.
Yilmaz, 32, was made redundant from his job as a retail assistant in 2014 after the store he was working in closed down and said being out of work was painful.
He said: “Being out of work makes you lazier after each day passes. For the first six months, if you get an email saying that you were not successful for the job you applied for makes you feel really bad but after a while, you just don’t care because it becomes normal.
“The longer you are out of work, the harder it becomes.”
After a while, Yilmaz was referred by Jobcentre Plus to Working Links which delivers the Work Programme in Wales. There, he was supported by a dedicated team of employment specialists, including personal consultant Yvonne McCracken, tutor Mark Ashman and employer services consultant Rob Williams.
Yilmaz added: “At Working Links, people are different. I thought I was just being referred so I could be sanctioned, but they really helped me – step by step.
“Yvonne put me on classes while Mark and Rob helped me update my CV and taught me how to contact employers. The most important part was how they helped me gain an interview for a local employer. If Yvonne, Mark and Rob had not been there for me, I would still be unemployed.”
Yilmaz aced the interview for a kitchen porter, but has impressed his new manager so much that he has been promoted to a preparatory chef.
Yvonne said: “Yilmaz was quite unmotivated when he came to us initially. But together we worked on the best strategy for him by trying a variety of approaches including individual appointments, job search sessions and classes on the training calendar. It was during the classes with Mark and Rob that he really came out of his shell and proved an integral and popular member of the class. It has been a pleasure working with Yilmaz, seeing him develop and work hard to achieve his goal of finding work.”