Both Omid and Elham were referred to The Work Company by the job centre in November 2012 and had their induction on the same day.
Both customers were from Iran - Omid was an aspiring Artist and Elham had a background as both an Accountant and a Midwife.
Omid was from an Engineering background, working as a Pipeline Technician for Iranian Oil but ultimately wanted to work as an Artist and frequently brought examples of his work, which was of an extremely high standard.
Elham spoke very little English, and in order to support with this, she was to attend ESOL at Manchester College to improve her English skills.
With the help of his advisor, Omid created letters to send to art galleries in Greater Manchester, trying to gain some voluntary work in the industry with the ultimate aim of trying to get his work more well known.
As Elham’s language improved, The Work Company began looking at whether her University Degree in Midwifery could be transferred from Iran to the UK, and the possibility of her getting onto the Nursing and Midwifery Council so that she could gain work as a Midwife in the UK. Overtime, it became apparent that due to the money involved to accomplish this, it was not a realistic path for Elham.
Omid was struggling to get responses from the galleries he had tried to contact and had hit a brick wall trying to get his art out into the industry. His advisor referred him to The Work Company’s Self Employment advisor, who quickly identified the potential of Omid’s work and started working with him to help promote the works to other artists and the public.
Elham’s English continued to improve and her advisor referred her onto a SAGE course to help boost her admin and accountancy skills, as this was something she had done for 10 years in Iran and so was a definite job pathway for her to focus on. Elham was also speaking to the Self Employment advisor, as she too had excellent artistry skills to go alongside her accountancy background.
Omid was now promoting his work on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and he began to receive interest from other artists and invites to promote his work at galleries in Greater Manchester! He was even getting news articles written about him by The Daily Mail, The Independent and Manchester Evening News.
This culminated in Omid selling his first piece of work for £1,400 and so was able to sign off to work as a Self Employed Artist and pursue the dream he had always had!
Elham was also able to sign off and become Self Employed as an Artist in her own right, but also to assist Omid with his art as she was able to do all of the book keeping for them both due to her experience and new qualifications.