Building confidence through employment

Written by Preparing for AdulthoodDate 07 Aug 2014

Towards the end of his secondary school education, Daniel talked a lot about getting a job after school rather than going onto college like most of his friends.

Coming from a family with a strong work ethic, Daniel was keen to become employed himself and utilise his promising interpersonal skills in the workplace.

Unfortunately, at that time, there were no dedicated supported employment services available to Daniel’s age group and educational level, so it soon became apparent that he would need to further develop his skills and gain more work experience in order to secure employment. Daniel made contact with Transition2 in the summer of 2012 and started an individual, work-focused learning pathway with an integral work placement in September of that year.

During the summer prior to his arrival at T2, sadly Daniel had a series of experiences which left him feeling very anxious and he lost his self-confidence to the extent that he became virtually non-verbal. Therefore, since arriving at college Daniel has had to work very hard to not only develop his work-related skills but to re-build his self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness.

A year on, Daniel is often the first face you will see at Transition2 as he now takes responsibility for meeting and greeting visitors and touring prospective learners and their families around the college. His confidence has gradually returned following a programme of skill-building activities designed to nurture Daniel’s assets and qualities to help him gain the confidence he needed to face more challenging learning opportunities. In preparation for the world of work, Daniel has undertaken internal weekly work experience in the college office and has secured an external work placement at a local recycling centre where he welcomes customers on reception.

As well as rebuilding his confidence and preparing for employment, Daniel has also undertaken travel training at T2 and now travels independently to and from college. He has also recently begun to make his own way to and from his external work placement, no longer needing the taxi he initially required. Furthermore, Daniel’s new found self-confidence has allowed him to join a local drama group and attend a monthly nightclub event for young learning disabled adults to which he travels on two buses in the early evening with his friend.

At the end of his first year, we were delighted that Daniel’s Mum wrote to us saying:

Daniel had lost his self-confidence before coming to T2 … he has gone from strength to strength. He is finding himself again and is always reassured by staff in all aspects of his educational needs. Well done T2, you are a credit for what you have achieved. It is a lovely, safe and happy environment for the students. You are truly dedicated to your work.

The combination of all these small steps culminated in a huge amount of progress for Daniel during his first year at Transition2. A more confident and assured young adult with a wider support network in his local community, Daniel is now in his second year and enthusiastically looking forward to moving onto new possibilities.