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Ready Devon

Meet Reuben—He hopes his experience will inspire others to get a job.

Ever considered how an internship could make a difference to someone's confidence and your recruitment process?

An internship is a great way for someone to gain valuable work experience. It can make a huge difference to someone's confidence in their abilities and can ensure a smooth transition into a job. Meet Reuben for example. He started as an intern and now, with the support of a job coach, he's an apprentice at Devon County Council.

Did you know?

  • 77% of the public think more highly of companies that make an extra effort to employ people with a disability.

    Source: Mencap Factsheet 1—Charity Awareness Monitor, September 2004
  • People with a learning disability stayed in their job 3.5 times longer than their non-disabled co-workers.

    Source: Mencap 'Good for Business' - Beyer and Beyer 2017
  • 83% of people acquire their disability while in the work place.

    Source: Disability Confident

I’m Reuben and you may recognise me from the Ready When You Are campaign.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to work as an apprentice for Devon County Council, and I thought my experience might inspire others to have a go!

I found learning a bit of a challenge and so when I left school, I wasn’t sure what to do next! I decided to go on college taster days and was thrown in the deep end when I was put into the seat of a tractor! Arr! I decided that wasn’t for me!

Instead I made the decision to do a Foundation Learning course at Petroc College and had a brilliant time! I made new friends, did Drama, gained confidence and got qualifications in English and Maths!

Project LIFE.

I enjoyed the course so much that I decided to do another; this one was called Project LIFE. I learnt what a job description was, how to do a CV and lots of other employability skills. This was also my chance to get some work experience. I already had experience working at Boston Tea Party, which was amazing, and I did some voluntary work with the British Red Cross, but this was the first time I had to decide what work I was really interested in. I found this quite difficult, but I knew that I liked computers so I thought I’d give admin a go. Luckily for me, I was offered an internship at Devon County Council within Adults Commissioning and Health.

An internship made me feel happy and included.

I was so nervous on my first day at work, walking into such a large office was really daunting! But everyone was so friendly and I had the support of my job coach Jo and Emma, my mentor; so I soon loved coming into the office, seeing people I knew, having a chat and a laugh – it made me feel happy and included. It was a great experience for me!

At first I needed a little help to get to work but I soon learnt to travel independently catching a train and taxi to get there. This has made a big difference to how I get around at home, as I now feel confident to use public transport to get to my voluntary work, to do my shopping and to leisure activities.

I’m told that my work has been really helpful and that makes me feel valued.

I finished my college course and was offered an apprenticeship in Business and Administration, at Devon County Council, working within the Commissioning Support Team. Since I started as an apprentice I have learned lots of new skills including Excel which I’ve used to create spreadsheets.

I was over the moon when I was given the apprenticeship. It’s so nice to be paid as it means I can treat my family to a meal out and buy things for myself like music. My favourite music is Little Mix and Steps – I’m hoping to go to a Little Mix concert one day!

I really love my work; my everyday tasks include printing, laminating, designing posters, creating agendas, spreadsheets, inputting data and word processing. I even received a certificate for having the “I for design”! My colleagues have told me that my work has really helped them and that makes me feel valued. I really like being a part of a team!

I think the ‘Ready When You Are’ campaign is really good; as hopefully it will help other people like me, get a job.

Interested in learning more about employing people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism? Ask to be contacted by a Jobcentre Plus Local Employment Advisor to speak to someone in person.