Dorset teenager Jake Brown leaves his troubles behind

"I feel so much better in myself and I feel independent. My Dad is really pleased for me” – Jake Brown, Dorset customer. 

Why Jake joined the programme

16 year old Jake Brown came to us with a few different barriers to finding employment. He's an ex-offender, experiences high levels of anxiety and he has a learning disability. Jake would be the first to admit he used to be antisocial and not the type of person you'd like to meet. 

Despite his barriers Jake didn't want to let his past define him, he wanted to take control of his life and gain some independence. He felt that finding a part-time job whilst he completed his college studies would be key to achieving this ambition. He joined the Links to Work programme in July. 

How Links to Work helped

We teamed Jake up with personal consultant Emma Davis who immediately got to work assessing exactly what Jake's situation was and the type of work he'd like to find himself in.

Jake was open to exploring a variety of job opportunities so Emma and Jake got to work completing a CV which showcased his achievements to date. Jake had some work experience but also had many personal achievements to his name.These included a 'Junior Footballer of the Year' award and a number of charity events he'd taken part in, one of which raised £1,000. Emma helped Jake see that these achievements gave him transferable skills which are applicable in the workplace.

With a CV under his belt it was time to begin the job search. At his first job searching appointment a suitable position with Clarity Cleans was identified. The role would consist of cleaning holiday lodges on Fridays and Saturdays, a perfect fit considering his college commitments.

Landing the Job

Jake contacted Clarity Cleans and was immediately invited to a work trial. Emma helped him prepare advising him on interview techniques and appropriate clothing to wear. 

Jake attended the work trial and evidently made a great first impression – he was offered the job.

Jake said: "I cannot believe how quickly I managed to get a job. I received really good support from my personal consultant and she talked things through with me in a way I could understand. I feel so much better in myself and I feel independent. My Dad is really pleased for me.”

Despite his difficulties growing up he's shown some real character and great maturity in working towards a better future. Michael Taylor, his family worker at the Purbeck Family Partnership Zone had this to say:

"Jake is proof that regardless of the difficulties we face in life, change is possible with the right motivation and crucially the right support. Links to Work helped Jake build the bridge he needed to get to the destination he wanted, after working with them for a couple of months he has now got a job, he's in college and more importantly he's hopeful for his future.

"From now on if asked for an example of positive change I can point to Jake, if you asked me for an example of how change can be achieved, I can point to Links to Work." 

Looking to the future

Jake has been so inspired by the support he received, both from the Community Mental Health Team when growing up and more recently in his job search, he's decided that ultimately he wants to pursue a career giving back to the community. Jake's long-term career goal is to work with young people in a sporting environment, helping them to work as a team, progress and achieve their potential.    

Now that's what we call paying it forward. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive updates on Jake's progress.

If you're keen to get into work but just need that little bit of support – signup for our free employment training programme and we'll work with you to overcome your barriers and get you the job you want.