Skip to main content

Maria Pal - case study

  • By London Councils

MariaMaria registered onto the Jobshop Community Outreach project on 7 March 2012 at Leys children centre. Maria lacked confidence due to having looked for work for over a year and not being able to find a job. She also suffered from allergies which affected her health; particularly the condition of her skin and this also restricted the type of roles she could go for. In addition, due to having a son under 5 years old, childcare was a significant barrier to work for her.

 Maria received the following support from project staff:

  • a skills assessment session to assess her training needs
  • action planning to establish Maria’s career goals and how to achieve them
  • 1-1 advice about working part-time and information on available job vacancies
  • 1-1 support to complete a good quality CV
  • information on local affordable childcare and funded childcare schemes
  • her own project adviser to support her throughout her time on the project

Maria applied for an administration position with East Tenders. But despite support to prepare for her interview with her project adviser, nerves got the better of her and she was unsuccessful. Feedback was given to Maria and she worked with her adviser for several weeks to improver her interview technique.

Maria was forwarded for a customer service position and was successful as a result of her interview training. Unfortunately, the employer decided to put recruitment on hold indefinitely. This was a major blow for Maria but her adviser managed to keep her motivated and referred her for an Apprenticeship opportunity with Barclays Bank. Maria had to do a literacy and numeracy assessment, 1st stage group screening, a 2nd stage group interview and assessment with the apprenticeship provider, then a final and 3rd stage interview with Barclays Bank.

Maria was successful through all the stages of recruitment and started working on October 10th 2012. She will also be starting an NVQ in Providing Financial Services later on in the year.

Maria’s adviser has stayed in touch with her on a weekly basis since she started work and has:

  • Arranged low cost local childcare for her son through a registered childcare provider
  • Arranged for her first week’s childcare to be paid from the project’s Participant Discretionary Fund

Maria says

`I am just so happy to be working in a job that I really enjoy. Banking is not something I had considered before and I wouldn’t have thought I would be able to get into it, but here I am. I enjoy it so much that I would like to progress in this field and become a Personal Banker. My adviser has been brilliant, so supportive and always motivating me to keep going and never give up. The financial support and information on childcare has been really helpful. I wouldn’t be able to keep my job if I didn’t have this support. Knowing that he will keep in touch with me to make sure I am ok in the job is very reassuring. It’s good to know that I have support if I should need it. It’s really good that there are projects like this around. I wouldn’t be in work now if it wasn’t for this project.’