L to r rebecca shaw darrel hague charlie denham hannah parker jill hulett at mcdonalds hillsborough
The lives of two people from Sheffield have just taken a turn for the better, thanks to a jobs scheme between disability employment specialists Remploy and McDonald’s. And their success looks like leading the way for more disabled people who want to commence careers in McDonald’s restaurants throughout the UK.
Darrel Hague, who’s 20 and from Longley, has autism, a hearing impairment and a learning disability. His new job at McDonald’s on Penistone Road in Hillsborough is his first – since leaving school he has faced many barriers to employment which he found impossible to overcome alone.
“It’s not been for the want of trying,” said Darrel. “As time went by, my lack of experience became my biggest obstacle, but what could I do? Nobody would give me a chance and I had nothing to show for the years I had spent endlessly filling in application forms and being rejected.”
Referred to Remploy for specialist support by Jobcentre Plus, Darrel was immediately picked out as a great candidate to sign up for the jobs partnership between Remploy and McDonald’s. He passed all the initial assessments with flying colours and was fast-tracked through a programme of employability skills including how to perform in interviews, CV-writing and building his confidence. He also learnt many of the practical skills needed to work in a busy restaurant, such as customer service, preparing food and keeping everything clean and well-stocked. With a keen eye for detail, he was then given a placement with the company and a job offer soon followed, which he had no hesitation in accepting.
“I have always wanted to work and earn my own wage,” Darrel said. “I’ve now made new friends, learnt a lot, and I go home happy each working day.”
Likewise, 24-year-old Hannah Parker from Fulwood has just started her job at the restaurant, following an intensive time of employment preparation with Remploy. Hannah has a learning disability, dyslexia and dyspraxia, which affects her coordination.
“Being independent is really important to me,” she said. “Like Darrel I found it impossible to convince employers to give me a job but I am now proving to everybody, including myself, that I can do it by working at McDonald’s. I now have a future ahead of me and coming to work is the best feeling in the world!”
Jill Hulett is an operations consultant for McDonald’s restaurants. “We were determined to succeed with our jobs programme for people with disabilities and so, alongside Remploy, have invested a lot of time in shaping it. Our commitment to employing a diverse range of people is very strong as we serve a diverse range of customers. The success of Darrel and Hannah has given us confidence to continually refine our disability employment programme and offer more jobs to more people. McDonald’s is an equal opportunities employer and this is yet another way in which we can deliver what we promise.”
“We’re delighted at the success of our two job seekers,” added Remploy account manager Rebecca Shaw who, alongside colleague Charlie Denham, has helped develop the scheme. “Working very closely with our colleagues at McDonald’s, we understand what they look for in their employees and so are able to propose people, like Darrel and Hannah, who really want to be successful but have just not had the opportunities in life. They are now demonstrating what a great fit they are and we wish them, and all those who follow, every success.”