Kieran's Story

Dumfries High School referred Kieran to the Employability and Skills Service as he had no idea what he wanted to do upon leaving school. Initially he signed up to an Activity Agreement whilst his support worker explored several options with him as to what his next steps should be.

As Kieran had identified that he lacked the necessary work experience and skills needed to gain work several avenues were explored and in particular Project SEARCH was identified as an option, as Kieran would get additional close support whilst experiencing 3 rotational work experience placements during the academic year.

Kieran, although unsure, at first, visited the project and spoke to those involved. Being interested he subsequently applied and was accepted onto the programme.

On completing the initial induction training, he went on to further training for REHIS Food Hygiene, and Moving and Handling, achieving both and getting certificates for these before starting his first placement.

This post was split between two Council departments, Enterprise Services and Planning, where he carried out administrative duties. Enjoying the experience from working in these placements Kieran wanted to extend his practise and knowledge within the planning department and was successful in gaining a placement for his second rotation.

Through discussion with Project SEARCH support staff, Kieran expressed his continued interest in administration and that he wanted to gain employment in this area and therefore wished his third placement to be in this area of work.

To help Kieran’s anxiety about meeting new people, his third placement was sought through the NHS with a split placement between the Castle Douglas Health Centre and Health and Wellbeing at the Crichton.

During his year with Project SEARCH Kieran worked towards achieving his Dumfries and Galloway Employability Award – Silver, which he successfully completed during his last placement. This is an accredited qualification in work place skills and helped to strengthen CV.

He began applying for work with help from the Project SEARCH team. Through negotiation with SHAX, Kieran attended an interview with them for a Modern Apprentice in Business Administration and was successful in securing this position.

The job involved meeting and dealing with customers who called at the warehouse as well as telephone enquiries, areas that Kieran lacked confidence in.  SHAX and his support worker encouraged Kieran to complete Customer Care training, putting in methods and processes that assisted him in carrying out his job, especially when dealing with people.   With the help of his new employer, Kieran worked towards completing an SVQ2 in Business Administration, and has now successfully finished.

Kieran has now been in employment with SHAX for 13 months.