A disabled man from Leeds has made the greatest progress in the Mitie Foundation’s innovative work program, Ready2Work and banked £500.
Unemployed Jozimar Varela from Beeston, who has cerebral palsy, has just been presented with the award on completion of his eight-week work experience programme with outsourcing specialists Mitie. Supported by a number of organisations including disability employment specialists Remploy, the programme offers an opportunity to enhance the skills of trainees and increase their confidence through work. At the end of the two-month programme, Mitie either employs the candidates where vacancies exist, or offers continued support in seeking jobs elsewhere.
“I am absolutely thrilled to win this award, which is a great surprise to me,” said 27-year-old Jozimar. “Being nominated by other candidates is the icing on the cake, and it comes at the end of a very enjoyable time with Mitie. I have been looking for a job for the past 18 months and have been spending my time volunteering for the cerebral palsy charity SCOPE. However, I also needed to think of my own future and so was really pleased to be selected for this opportunity. I have learnt so much and now plan to put my experience to good use in 2016 as I continue to look for a permanent job.”
Jozimar has just spent several weeks as a receptionist and call handler for one of Mitie’s customers in the finance sector. His Mitie mentor and trainer Robyn Howarth said, “He was very nervous to start with but his confidence grew daily and he has been a really valued member of our team. He has immersed himself fully in everything we have asked of him and he has been a real joy to work with. I hope his Ready2Work experience will be the stepping stone he needs.”
Alongside Jozimar, two other candidates from Remploy – Damien Petch and Michael Speck – have also just completed their eight-week Ready2Work programme and, as a result of their experiences, they have high hopes for the future. Damien has been offered a job by Mitie, working for their Gather & Gather catering business, and Michael is being fully supported as he continues to look for a job.
Alexia Tsalkitzoglou is the Mitie Foundation’s employability coordinator. “We have worked with a group of people who have shown real commitment,” she said. “Their confidence and self-belief has increased beyond recognition and this will help them break down the barriers they face.
“Our relationship with the candidates does not end here. We will stay in close contact so that we can highlight job opportunities within Mitie and play a very active role in ensuring those who want to work in our industry are offered our continued support.”
Dominic Brook from Remploy added, “We have worked alongside Mitie for the past three years and our relationship is going from strength to strength. We were delighted to support their Ready2Work programme and it has been a fantastic success.
“Taking part means we can offer more professional and well-managed training opportunities to people who have the potential to make really great employees but are often furthest from employment, and the result of our association with Mitie will lead to more successful outcomes for people with disabilities and health conditions.”
For further information ring:
David Felton 07803 214682
Debbie Richardson 07977 436079
Notes to Editors:
- Remploy was established 70 years ago to provide training and employment after the Second World War for injured and disabled ex-servicemen and miners.
- Since 2010, Remploy has found more than 100,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and learning disabilities, mental health conditions and other disadvantages.
- Remploy works with more than 2,500 employer partners including Marks & Spencer, BT, City FM, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s and the NHS
- Remploy has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
- It invests in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and a vocational rehabilitation service
- On 12 March 2015, Remploy entered into a joint venture with MAXIMUS, a leading operator of government health and human services programmes in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia and on 7 April 2015 Remploy left government ownership.