PDT EmploymentMK from EN5 is a likeable and intelligent wife and mother of one who actively engaged with me from the point of registration. Having spotted our publicity on a routine trip to see her Job Coach, MK was a referred to us via Finchley Jobcentre Plus at her own request and I registered her on this programme due to her barriers and an understanding that she may not be able to find suitable employment. With a range of experience behind her including sales, cleaning, retail and hospitality based customer service in addition to administrative work it was clear to me that she was already in possession of a wealth of transferable skills. This was further supported by her BA in Political Administration and high school education obtained in her native Poland. 

All I needed was someone to see my potential and give me a chance. Thank you!” 

Despite all her positive accomplishments, confidence was MK’s main barriers and it was very clear from early on that she was extremely introvert, which to me presented as lack of self-esteem even though she was so willing to engage. Through our one-to-one IAG sessions I discovered that MK had struggled to secure work that allowed her to work to her potential since arriving to the UK. Even more heart wrenching was the fact that five years ago, her husband was involved in a work-related incident that left him unfit to work. Balancing the full-time care regimes for her toddler and husband was tough on MK; not forgetting the dependence on state benefits, which was so far from their game plan when they embarked on a mission to start a new life in the UK. 

Not being able to get out, communicate or have social interaction with peers had a profound effect on MK’s confidence. She also became concerned that not having opportunities to utilise her English meant that people wouldn’t understand her communication, which in turn made her conscious about accessing support services. So, she was lost in her responsibilities with her dream of returning to employment firmly locked in a filing cabinet at the back of her mind! 

I once remember saying to MK that I saw an intelligent and skilled lady in front of me who wants better for her family and that I would bring that out of her if it was the last thing I did. At the time I was looking for a work placement to support me in seeking employment opportunities around Barnet, I knew she was looking for something flexible that could also be achieved at home, so she accepted with the agreement to continue her weekly job search and meet with me at regular intervals. 

Whilst mentoring her back towards the right track, I put MK on the PDT facilitated “Summer at Finchley” six-week programme that covered employability skills using IT and included a motivational session. She was unable to complete the full course, but I was flabbergasted that she attended something delivered in a group setting which was a major step. After supporting me to a high standard for a couple of months, an opportunity for an administration based project support work placement opened at the PDT Employment office. I encouraged MK to apply, so she did and was interviewed- even the Head of Project Support saw the potential in her. She came in to PDT and blew everyone away with her hard work, attention to detail and generally being on the ball. 

MK has now successfully secured a part-time paid contract with PDT Employment as Project Support Officer as of 05/09/17; and at 16 hours it still allows her to fulfil her parental and care responsibilities, ensuring her husband never misses an appointment. The role involves supporting two Employment Advisers with the administrative side of managing their caseloads including diary management, quality assurance, general administrative duties plus the Barnet Opportunities List. Her confidence has come along in leaps and bounds, she now contributes to team meetings, supports group inductions and communicates with people on the phone – but most importantly she is now smiling and has found life beyond Carers Allowance. Now that is what you call a comeback! I am incredibly proud of MK’s progression and the only direction for her now is onwards and upwards. 

PDT Employment Case Study 

For: Barnet Employability Group & SWEET Steering Group 

From: Neisha Diaz 

Date: 01/11/2017 

Project: SWEET 

Subject: MK