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IT teacher turns full circle

20 Dec 2017

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A Tyneside man, who has an emotional and behavioural learning disability, is celebrating five years’ successful employment, thanks to the support he’s received from Remploy at its special employment services branch in Sunderland.

The job was right up my street, and my placement eventually turned into a permanent position,”

Peter Kirkpatrick left home when he was just 16, and sought security by improving his education and through his drive to get a job. Keen to develop his skills he embarked on several years’ voluntary work, but the need to earn a wage led to seeking employment support from Remploy.

Remploy helped Peter develop his employability skills, including writing an effective CV, how to attract the attention of employers and how to respond during job interviews. It was all part of a comprehensive package of support that led to a placement with Sunderland North Family Zone, an organisation focused on developing the IT and other life skills of people in the community.

“The job was right up my street, and my placement eventually turned into a permanent position,” said Peter, who now teaches subjects as wide-ranging as computing, crafts, arts and food hygiene. “Through the zone I now delivers IT workshops to jobseekers at Remploy, and teach food hygiene skills to people working at the bakery where I used work voluntarily, so I’ve just about come full circle!

“Throughout my adult life I’ve been determined to have a job and, whilst that’s not always been possible, it’s always been my aim,” added Peter. “At the age of 14, I could neither read nor write, and I’m now qualified in a range of skills. None of this would have been possible without the encouragement and practical support of Remploy, and my employment advisors have been with me all the way. I’m really pleased I have been able to keep in touch, professionally and personally.”

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