Case Study

Pioneering Paul finds coffee, confidence, and hopes of a new career

1 May 2024
Paul, 37, from Kirkby in Merseyside loves to chat. He enjoys bus and train travel, especially if there’s a coffee and biscuit waiting at his destination. He’s also severely autistic and actively looking for work through the government’s new Pioneer: Work and Health Programme. 

Supported by the Ingeus teams in Kirkby, Huyton, and Liverpool, Paul has already undertaken a seasonal vacancy at a family-run cosmetics and pamper shop and hopes that the confidence and customer service skills he gained will soon lead to his next retail role. 

“I loved meeting new people and demonstrating the products, all the staff and customers were so friendly,” says Paul, who had been unemployed since 2018. “The shop manager is autistic too and we immediately clicked. It was good to be busy and focussed on the customers. 

“Having autism doesn’t affect what I can do at work – I just need the right role and environment.” 

Ingeus Employment Specialist Damien provides one-to-one support to Paul and took time to get to know his skills and career aspirations. Recognising his love of being out and about, Damien invited Paul to the local Ingeus offices to get to know the staff and search for job vacancies. After Paul indicated his interest in retail, a conversation with the Liverpool shop manager led to an induction and temporary Christmas role. 

“Paul has many valuable skills to offer an employer,” says Damien. “He previously worked for seven years at a motoring retailer and has now refreshed his customer service skills with his Christmas role. He is incredibly personable and just needs an understanding employer to see his strengths – which is where Ingeus and Pioneer can help.” 

Ingeus offers Work and Health Programme – Pioneer support across the North West, Greater Manchester, and Central-West London. It provides in-work training opportunities for people with disabilities and health conditions furthest from the labour market, sourcing local vacancies from a wide range of employers. In-work support is a key feature of the programme, ensuring candidates and employers learn together to ensure successful outcomes. 

“Paul’s confidence has grown and grown,” continues Damien. “He is a true shining star and huge advocate of Pioneer. He manages three cups of coffee and a biscuit on every visit and tells everyone how great Ingeus is!” 

Paul, who lives in a Shared Lives supported accommodation scheme in Kirkby has an active social and church life. He adds: “I like to be busy – I hate sitting around and would like to come off benefits in due course. Work is good for your mental health and gets me out meeting people – my favourite thing.” 

Work and Health Programme - Employment | Ingeus 

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