Maria overcomes language barrier to secure first job in the UK

“My whole life has changed for the better. I now have a ‘normal’ life and I feel useful to my daughter again.”  – Maria Blanco, Leicester customer

Why Maria joined the Links to Work programme

Despite good qualifications and impressive qualifications Maria struggled to secure sustained employment after moving to the UK from Spain. Fed up of temporary contracts and knock back after knock back Maria sought out our employment support.

How Links to Work helped

Maria was partnered with her very own personal consultant. Sam Kelly took the time to get to know Maria so he fully understood her situation and could build a package of support tailored to her needs.

Sam identified that Maria’s difficulties with gaining employment included a language barrier and the fact that she was a single mum, in need of a job to fit around her parenting duties. Maria also felt that some employers believed her to be overqualified for vacancies, she needed help making it clear that she was willing to do the work.

Maria and Sam worked together to produce a range of professional CVs, adapted to the various types of job that Maria was interested in. They also wrote a series of cover letters which would help to make it clear that Maria had a desire to work in the jobs she was applying for. Maria was slightly concerned that her lack of recent experience would count against her but Sam helped her see that the fact she had been volunteering as a classroom assistant had kept her skills up and demonstrated motivation to work.

After many failed applications Sam worked hard to keep Maria's morale up and the breakthrough came when they started preparing for interviews together. Practising likely interview questions helped build her confidence and overcome the language barrier she'd been experiencing in previous interviews.

Of the support she received, Maria said: “I can only say great things about the staff at Links to Work. They are a wonderful, human team, and all of them have been caring with me and made me feel like I’m not alone.” 

Getting a job

Harj, our Employer Services Consultant in Leicester, used his close relationships with local businesses to source Maria an interview opportunity. The interview was for a Lab Assistant role with a design company.

With increased confidence and her interview skills up to scratch Maria attended and was successful in gaining the position.

Maria said: “After months of hard work and focussing to find a job, I finally started as a Lab Assistant. I am enjoying this job and looking forward to gaining more skills and developing further.”

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You can still sign up for the Links to Work programme if you're from Leicestershire. Sign up for our free employment support and we'll work with you to overcome your barriers and get you the job you want.