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Callum pushes himself outside his comfort zone to find his first job

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When Callum*, 27, joined the Fair Start Scotland service in January 2023 he had never been in paid employment before. 

Callum, from Montrose, had spent 10 years on Universal Credit and was struggling to motivate himself to find employment independently. He had briefly attended college and volunteered in a local charity shop, however he found it difficult to maintain his attendance due to his struggles with dyslexia. 

Callum met with his Key Worker, Michael Melvin, who worked with him to overcome his barriers to employment, in particular, his dyslexia and low confidence.  

He was initially hesitant to push himself outside of his comfort zone and didn’t have a support system to help him, so Michael organised development sessions where he was encouraged to identify his transferable skills and think more positively about himself and his future. He was also given CV support and encouraged to ask Michael to help him complete job applications if he felt his dyslexia was holding him back. 

To further build his skillset, Michael referred Callum to our Community Partnership Network (CPN) member, Volunteer Action Angus, who provided volunteering opportunities which gave him invaluable experience.

Once his confidence began to grow, Callum became more eager to engage with his job search. He began attending Remploy Job Fairs and pushed himself to engage with employers who he previously wouldn’t have approached.  

Callum had 100% attendance for his development sessions and volunteering days, proving to himself that he was capable of working and getting out of his comfort zone. 

In November 2023, Callum successfully interviewed for two different roles, a Care Assistant at a care home and a Retail Assistant in a local store. 

Receiving two job offers meant that Callum was able to choose which role would best suit his skills. He soon decided to accept the Retail Assistant role and began working at the end of the month. 

Reflecting on his experience with Remploy, Callum said: “From the word go we didn’t take the foot off the gas. If an interview didn’t work out, we used the feedback we got to improve before the next interview. I felt I was going from strength to strength and having someone there to support me was exactly what I had been missing.” 

Michael, his Key Worker, was also eager to celebrate Callum’s success: “Callum has come miles from when I first met him, and he should be very proud of all the work he has put in.” 


*Name anonymised at participant’s request 

23 January, 2024