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Abdel gets a chance to shine

24 Apr 2017

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A Sheffield man who struggled to find work is celebrating having a job again thanks to a partnership between Remploy and the facilities management company MITIE Environmental.

Don’t give up – take what is offered to see where it leads. It worked for me!”

Abdel Hamid Laribi, who has been deaf since birth, was referred to Remploy’s city centre branch in Sheffield, where he received specialist support with his job searching. The support paid off when he was offered work with MITIE Environmental as a cleaning operative at a high street bank.

It was the opportunity Abdel wanted to showcase his ability and reliability to an employer and he was soon rewarded with more cleaning work at other sites in Sheffield. 

Abdel, who mainly uses sign language to communicate, has an app on his mobile phone that allows him to translate text messages into sign language, making it easier for him to communicate with his managers.

MITIE general manager Cathy Tinston said: “We are always looking for reliable, cheerful, hardworking cleaning operatives who impress our clients with their positive ‘can do’ attitude. It is a person’s ability that counts, not their disability, as clearly demonstrated by Abdel. We have a number of deaf employees and some of our managers are level 1 BSL signers, which enables us to have a meaningful dialogue with all our operatives. Abdel’s managers are delighted he is doing so well and he is a highly valued member of our team.”

Paul Hicks, Remploy’s account manager in Sheffield, added: “Abdel’s hearing impairment was not a barrier to him entering employment. With the right support, he was able to interview fantastically well and has since proven himself to be a real asset to MITIE. We are all really proud of how well he’s doing.”

Abdel uses public transport to get to and from work but his ambition is to learn to drive and become a mobile supervisor with MITIE. In the meantime, he has a message for other disabled people looking for employment: “Don’t give up, and if an initial opportunity doesn’t seem to fit the bill, as far as hours are concerned, it just might be worth taking what is offered to see where it leads. It worked for me!” 

Find out more about hearing impairments with our A-Z of disabilities.