James is a young man who had always aspired to have a job. He went away to college to develop his business and admin skills and returned to his local area feeling very despondent, as he didn’t feel anyone would give him a chance. James has Asperger’s and the thing that was stopping him getting a job was the recruitment process itself, as James would struggle to sell himself at interview but he knew he could do the jobs. His mum referred him to Ways into Work and we started to think about the type of job he wanted and encouraged James to think big.

Ways into Work started working with Housing Solutions in Maidenhead to look at Diversity in the workplace and they agreed to offer James an extended work placement in the Finance department.  Emma Allen the Business Improvement Manager was initially a little sceptical   “Our Community Engagement Manager suggested speaking to Ways Into Work who work with people in our local area that struggled to get employment, often because of disabilities or impairments.  My initial thought was, “Lovely idea, but not a practical solutions; not for my very important data”.

Despite her initial concerns Emma decided to give James a chance and James started a placement. The transformation of James was amazing to watch as he grew in confidence and others began to realise how his skills and talents could add value to their business. After Six Months James was offered an Apprenticeship level 2 in Business and Admin which he completed and in August 2015 he was offered a job.

This opportunity has changed James life forever and his mum has been able to get a job also but it has also had a profound impact on Housing Solutions and Emma who says

I often reference James and WITW as the best thing that I’ve been involved with in my career. As well as supporting James, WITW trained us to see the potential in others and as a result James is just one of three real life changing success stories in our company.

Emma Allen, Business Improvement Manager, Housing Solutions