“ They have contributed to the success of the store ”
Three men from south Wales, who cast off the shadow of unemployment five years ago, have explained how having a job has completely transformed their lives.
Colin Jarvis, 64, from Cardiff, Leon Reynolds, 27 from Caerphilly and 54-year-old Michael Davies from Penarth, each in their own way struggled to find work for different reasons.
But thanks to an innovative partnership between Remploy, the leading provider of specialist employment services for disabled people, and Sainsbury’s their perseverance was rewarded when they were recruited as customer service assistants at a new Sainsbury’s Local in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff when it opened in 2010.
“I worked at Woolworths for 15 years until the business closed in 2009,” said Colin, who has a hearing impairment and asthma. “Redundancy was a terrible shock, a real kick in the teeth.”
Leon, who has a learning disability and confidence issues, studied IT at college but then spent two frustrating years looking for work. “It was tough. My self-esteem was shattered,” he recalled.
A long-term spinal condition meant Michael had to give up his job of 15 years at a discount store because of the strain of a lengthy commute. Unemployed for eight months, he unsuccessfully applied for hundreds of jobs. He said: “I lost so much confidence. I really doubted I would get another job.”
The three men are among 100,000 people supported into work by Remploy since 2010. They had been were referred to Remploy’s branch in Cardiff, where they received tailored support with their job searching, including help creating a standout CV, guidance on applying for jobs online and – crucially – advice on interview techniques.
Today, the three men have a friendship that has developed and strengthened during the time they have been working for Sainsbury’s.
John Jones, Sainsbury’s store manager at St Mary’s Street, said: “I’m delighted at the progress Colin, Leon and Michael have made. They have contributed to the success of the store and are valued members of the team.”
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