I have been supported by Mencap Employment services in Derry/Londonderry for a number of years and whilst I have had several paid positions, unfortunately I became unemployed since my last job in December 2015.
I decided to remain enthusiastic and dedicated to finding a new job and I was delighted to have been successful in gaining employment with Farrans Construction in April 2017 on their site at Altnagelvin Hospital in the City.
I meet with Liz Surman, my Mencap Employment Officer on a regular basis to discuss job opportunities, complete applications and practice for interviews. I also picked up some casual paid employment as a caretaker in a local community centre, to help me maintain my employment skills whilst keeping busy as I searched for permanent paid work.
When the Farrans job opportunity became available, Liz had an initial conversation with the HR manager to assess whether the job was suitable for me or not. Farrans showed a keenness to work with Mencap from the start and encouraged me to submit an application. I was feeling a little down as it is not easy to get an interview, never mind a job. I worked with Liz to prepare for the interview and was feeling confident and ready when it came to the day of the interview. Liz negotiated with Farrans some reasonable adjustments to ensure I was given an equal chance to perform well at the interview.
"I was surprised and delighted when they rang to offer me the job. I value this opportunity and am really enjoying working for Farrans. They provided me with a full uniform and set out a schedule for me. The team I work alongside are all friendly and have made me feel welcome from the start. I finally got my chance"
Farran’s construction are an established building and civil engineering contractor working across the UK, Europe and further beyond. The company has been in the construction industry for over 70 years, employing many staff and contractors on multiple sites year after year. Farrans recognises the wider social responsibility that comes with large scale construction projects, working with the community and natural environment to implement sustainable business practices.
I will still continue to be supported by Mencap through the Workable (NI) Programme as this employment programme helps to supports both me and my employer Farrans. Although I have only started my work at Farrans, both Mencap and Farrans have worked very closely with me, to identify how to best enable me to carry out my work and develop my skills and confidence in this role.
Getting a job on my own merits has not only rewarded my dedication to seeking work, but also proven that with the appropriate support, individuals can meet their full potential and gain long term meaningful employment.
Liz Surman, Mencap Employment Officer said. “It is a pleasure working with Sean. He is a hardworking, well-mannered young man who tries his best in work. Despite the setback of losing his job, Sean remained very determined to secure paid employment. I am so pleased that he has managed to secure a new position and I look forward to continuing his support through the Workable (NI) Programme and developing our working partnership with Farrans in their construction site in Altnagelvin hospital.”
Brigid McGuigan, Community Engagement Manager, Farrans Construction said ‘At Farrans we recognise and accept the importance of investing in the local communities in which we operate. We reach out to those with a learning disability to ensure that they are valued equally and as such we have given Sean from Mencap, an opportunity to join the Farrans team on our Altnagelvin North Wing Redevelopment Hospital Project. We will continue to work in partnership with Mencap, providing employability skills training and offering structured work experience, to bring real change to people with a learning disability’