A partnership project designed to help Wirral people recover from drug and alcohol dependency and lead independent productive lives has achieved record success in placing clients into employment. Wirral Ways to Recovery, a partnership between national drug and alcohol charity CRI, The Work Company, Advocacy in Wirral and The Spider Project, placed 16 people into employment in the month of October, a record figure since the project began.
The Work Company, part of the Manchester Growth Company, works with CRI service users once they have reached a point of stability in their treatment, to help them into education, voluntary work and paid employment. The jobs are with a range of large and small employers including construction companies Carillion and Penn Construction, Wirral Council and Vauxhall Motors.
Charlotte Wood, Service Manager for the Work Company on the Wirral said: “We’re delighted with the job success in October. We became involved with the project in February and it took some time to get up to speed. Many of the clients we work with have not worked for many years, or in some cases have never worked, so there is a big job to do in terms of raising employability levels, providing them with qualifications, and where appropriate, voluntary work and work placements. Our clients have achieved over 150 qualifications already this year, a mix of general employability and job specific qualifications, and again, for many, it’s the first qualification they’ve achieved.”
“We’ve established excellent links with many employers in the area, and that bodes well for the future of the project. The type of employment that our clients have secured is very varied, and includes teaching, painting and decorating, car production work and call handling.”
Thomas Crawley had been unemployed for over a year, and had a chequered work history, consisting mainly of short term seasonal work. He had been a long term cannabis user, lacked self confidence and felt that his life needed direction. Thomas joined the Wirral Ways to Recovery project and began to work with his Recovery Coordinator and in group sessions with other clients to address his drug use issues. He made good progress, and was soon considered ready to start his job search activity with the Work Company. Thomas needed an up to date CV focusing on transferable skills to give him a better chance of employment. He attended weekly advice and guidance sessions, and twice weekly job search sessions to help him identify and apply for suitable vacancies.
Thomas was referred to a number of local employment agencies, and was given guidance around basic IT skills to help him set up an e mail account. He took part in several mock interviews designed to improve his confidence and performance in interviews. Thomas, who has now been clear of cannabis for several months, has been successful in securing a job as a crew member with a well known fast food outlet.
Thomas said: “If it wasn’t for the Work Company, I’d never have got this job, they gave me the confidence to try something I’d never have even thought possible before. I am enjoying working again; it feels brilliant to get up in the morning knowing I’ve got a full day of work ahead of me.”
“Knowing I’m going to be able to buy gifts feels great, the last few years have been a struggle but this year we’re going to have a great Christmas. My partner has noticed how happy I’ve been returning home from work, compared with other jobs I’ve had in the past, I’m always smiling”.