Katie has both mild autism and a mild learning disability, neither of which impact on her ability. Given the right guidance and clear instructions Katie has an abundance of skills and qualities waiting to be accessed.
Katie is a founding member of PADD, a group run by young people with disabilities to support employers in employing young people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. In her time at PADD she has shown an impressive drive to gain employment and shown that her disabilities are not impeding her ability to work.
Although projects such as PADD, and her work at the events during 2017 City of Culture Volunteer Programme have had full access to Katie’s great skill set, dedication and passion, Katie’s skills were being left untapped by employers. Katie started a job as a Shrink Wrap Operator at MPH fulfilment in June 2017 , with the help of MOBY, who had been working with MPH to ensure that the interview process and the work on the shop floor were catered to draw out the best of Katie’s ability. Before the interview MOBY helped to design a pictorial job specification, outlining how the shrink-wrapping machine would be operated. On top of this, the application for the role was amended allowing room to outline both the reasonable adjustments required as well as an explanation of her disability.
Afterwards, Mark Henderson, Company director at MPH Fulfilment and MOBY conducted a series of informal interviews with 4 applicants giving them an introduction to the role they were applying for and being shown around the warehouse floor. Following this Katie and one other were given a 2-day work trial using clear systematic instructions to assess their capabilities and ability to learn in the job. Katie’s eye for detail, ability to learn and warm nature enabled her to secure the job.
MOBY continued to work with MPH, providing in-work support as well as helping Katie to learn any tasks needed in a systematic way catered around the way she learns. Katie continued to progress in her role, taking on additional tasks as she felt more comfortable.
“My confidence is going up and my skills are getting more pronounced. I put about my disability on my CV when I applied for it, he was asking me how I learn so I said about showing me what to do. Chantelle did my work trial from the TSI training, because she understands how I learn so it was easy for her to explain to me because she had the training.
It’s easier by being shown what to do first, I got used to it after the first day, I picked it up real quick. Everything’s changed, I signed off, no work programme, and it feels good”.
- Katie, Shrink Wrap Operator, MPH Fulfilment
“The days Katie has been here so far she has been a breath of fresh air, it’s been lovely….. She’s just getting on with it. Chantelle came and did pictorials of everything that went on so it made it easier to understand. We have had to make very little adjustments, we had the pictorial representation which was very good and we will continue to expand on this, but general working conditions and general attitudes we haven’t had to change very much. I must admit, I have been very impressed, I like the fact it is not a government scheme that we get paid for…. It’s really important that whoever you employ is employed for their value not for what you get back from anywhere, we see it too many times, and they train a person for 3-6 months then they’re gone because there is no more money available. I would have been lost without it, we have had lots of support and guidance from our perspective and continued support from Talent Match will be good… When we have the funds to recruit someone else, the support will make it easier”.
- Marc Henderson, Company director, MPH Fulfilment