Finding an alternative route to employment: Georgina’s story

georginaWhen Georgina Morgan started the Training to Care course at the beginning of this year, it looked like everything was going really well. She had completed a number of the mandatory training units needed for her qualification, and was looking forward to starting her 12 month work placement, which is a core part of the course.

But then we hit a problem.

As the time frame we had in which to allocate placements came and went, Georgina’s DBS check (formerly CRB) still hadn’t come through.

This was a disaster as far as her place on the Training to Care course was concerned. Trainees cannot do a work placement without a DBS check… but they can’t finish the course without a placement. Not only does it give trainees a year of supported work experience, but it also acts as evidence to go towards their Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Without a DBS check, Georgina wouldn’t be able to continue.

Finding an alternative route

The DBS delay wasn’t Georgina’s fault (in fact it turned out there was a processing backlog), so we felt it was important to support her and to ensure she got the deal she was originally promised: a job guaranteed for 12 months and a qualification. She had already done so much, and we didn’t want her to feel that she’d wasted all that hard work, so we looked at what she could do to continue.

We found a qualification called Support Services in Health Level 2, which has similar mandatory units to those she’d already completed, and would allow Georgina to pursue her career in health.

This qualification also has a work placement element and – through pure luck – Gateway had some roles coming up in the Lighten Up service that would fit the bill perfectly.

I contacted Georgina and explained that a job opportunity was coming up – but that she would have to apply and go through the interview process like everyone else.

I’m very happy to say that she went for it and got it – and now works part time with the Lighten Up team, supporting people to lose weight.

We like to think that we spotted potential in Georgina – like many of our trainees – from the very start. She’s a single parent and one of the things that stood out to us at her original Training to Care interview was when she said, “I want to be a good role model to my kids”. She’s highly motivated and she genuinely loves working in a role where she can help people.

Volunteering

When Georgina started at Lighten Up, she came to an induction day where she learned about the other services that Gateway offers. She was particularly interested in our Making Health Work programme and decided to apply to become a volunteer Health Ambassador, on top of her Lighten Up job. Her DBS check had arrived back by this time, and so she was able to start almost straight away, supporting young people to have “Healthy Conversations” with a focus on work and employment.

We’re really proud of Georgina. Despite the barriers that have been put in her way she’s continued to stay motivated, and to take advantage of every opportunity that’s presented itself. I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to get her back on the road to success – even if it has turned out to be a slightly different route than she was expecting!

In the video below, Georgina talks about her reasons for applying for a job in Health and Social Care, and about how Gateway helped her when it all looked like it might go wrong.

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