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Bethany finds her confidence with support from Remploy and Tesco

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Bethany Pilkington from Motherwell joined the Fair Start Scotland Service in February 2023. Bethany, 24, had previous experience working as a cleaner and was open to exploring new sectors, but after being unemployed for a year, she was struggling with her self-confidence.  

Bethany worked with her Key Worker, Fiona Whitefeild, to rebuild her confidence and improve her communication. Fiona focused on helping Bethany to feel comfortable interacting with strangers as this would help her employability skills and open up new opportunities for her. 

Fiona organised for Bethany to attend development sessions where she learned about interview techniques and how to feel more confident about her skills. Over regular sessions Bethany was able to face her anxiety and slowly grew more comfortable being surrounded by people.  

Fiona then introduced Bethany to our Regional Account Manager, Julie Dennis, who thought she would be the perfect candidate for the Tesco Launch Placement Programme. As part of our ongoing nationwide partnership, Tesco offer two-week work placements to our participants with barriers to work, with a guaranteed interview at the end of the two week trial.  

Julie put Bethany forward as a candidate and informed Tesco of Bethany’s struggles interacting with strangers and being in crowded environments. These placements are ideal for people who may not perform as well in a typical interview, but with the right support, can work through their barriers to thrive in the retail environment.  

Diane Downie, Colleague Admin at Tesco, said: “When Bethany first arrived for her placement with us, she was very nervous and apprehensive.” 

As part of the placement, Tesco and Remploy work hard to ensure that the experience is tailored to the individual, and for Bethany, this meant encouraging her to be more confident in situations where she would be interacting with customers whilst being supported by more experienced colleagues. 

Throughout her placement Bethany continued to check in with her Key Worker, Fiona, to make sure she was feeling properly supported by the team. 

During her placement Bethany impressed Diane, who explained: “Every day Bethany was punctual for her shifts and had 100% attendance. I could see a difference in Bethany throughout her journey with us. With the support of fellow colleagues Bethany’s confidence grew, and she was able to have one-to-one conversations with customers and help them along their shopping journey.” 

At the end of her placement Bethany was invited to attend an interview where she was given feedback from the Tesco team and was able to share how she felt the experience went. Bethany’s hard-working attitude and continued self-development impressed the team so much that she was offered a Festive Colleague Position in the store. She officially began her role in November 2023. 

In January 2024 Bethany’s festive role ended and she was offered a permanent position in store. She is now looking forward to continuing to work at Tesco and enjoying her newfound confidence. 

As her Key Worker, Fiona was excited to hear about Bethany’s progress: “When Bethany first joined Remploy her anxiety was really holding her back. It’s been great to see her progress and find her confidence whilst working. I’m very pleased to hear that she now has a permanent role and hope she continues to grow.” 

Reflecting on her experience with Remploy, Bethany said: “My journey with Remploy has been a great experience. My Key Worker really helped me to find a job that would suit me, and they’ve been great at keeping in contact if I need help with anything.  

“Before Remploy I was really struggling to find a job but thanks to their support, I have found one and it’s really helped to improve my confidence and quality of life. It’s nice knowing that if I need to talk about anything they’re still there to offer support, too.” 

23 January, 2024