David’s exclusive new cleaning job
At 48 years old, Swansea-born David Pritchard had never had a job before. After leaving school, he went on to study gardening and horticulture at college but struggled to make it into his first paid role.
David, who has learning difficulties worked with other employment providers without success but it was when he sought support from Remploy, the disability, employment and skills specialist, that his luck changed and he got his new role with Exclusive Cleaning.
He said: “It feels great to have a job, it gets me out of the house and gives me something to do. I cycle to work which helps me keep fit and I enjoy the social side of working too. Cycling to work is good fun but it’s harder on the way home as it’s mostly uphill.”
David who collects model cars and has a collection of over five hundred said: “I’d been on courses with different providers before to try and help me get a job but I never managed to actually get one. My Remploy advisors did well to get me this job with Exclusive and I’m really enjoying it.”
Shaun Fox, David’s Manager at Exclusive Cleaning said: “David is absolutely fantastic, one of the best candidates we’ve had and nothing is too much trouble for him. He prioritises his jobs to ensure that the store is always nice and presentable for customers before he moves to the back office areas to clean.”
He added: “He just cracks on with his work and adapts to every situation. If we could have ten more people like him then I would be very happy. He was really shy and timid when I first interviewed him but now he gets on with everybody - I can’t believe how much he has come on in just a few months!”
David was supported as part of the Work and Health Programme which provides specialised support for people who are unemployed to help them develop the skills they require to overcome barriers to employment.
Zoe Yeomanson, David’s In Work Support Advisor, said: “As David had never had paid work before, he was very nervous in attending his first day of work, I therefore went to work with him at 5:30am and supported him during his first shift. We also supported him with clothing while his uniform was being ordered, and supplied some lights for his bicycle so that he would be safe on his early morning commute."
She added: “ I’m so proud of David and all that he has achieved. This job has really turned his life and his mind-set around - he’s even agreed to be an ambassador for our candidate coffee mornings, which is such a massive step forward for him.”
To help in his search for work, David was enrolled on an Information and Communications Technology course to develop his online skills, as well as a literacy and numeracy course with Gower College.
The college is part of the Community Partnership Network which brings together 50 organisations to work collaboratively across the country to support more disabled and disadvantaged groups into sustainable employment by offering all participants an individualised and tailored support service.
Helen Slee, Assistant Learning Area Manager for Gower College said: “David thoroughly enjoyed the classes he attended with us and had excellent attendance. He achieved units in both literacy and numeracy and was keen to continue his learning experience with us once these courses finished. David has since found a job but he is keen to develop his skills further at the College in the future.”
For more information about Remploy go to www.remploy.co.uk or call 0300 456 8110.