September 2023


Inclusive Industry Tour leads Jay to employment and security

“I am part of a team and I look forward to going to work. I never thought I would say that.”

A young man with Autism and ADHD is enjoying work, security and new-found confidence from a job which grew from an Inclusive Industry Tour delivered by Warwickshire Supported Employment Service

Among businesses to open their doors for an Inclusive Industry Tour was Studley Castle and the team at WSES, which is designed to support customers with autism and/or learning disabilities with an aspiration to work. Leamington Spa's supported employment journey guide felt it would be of interest to Jay Smith, and 12 other customers local to Leamington Spa. 

Jay was searching for a direction after leaving college and had previously enjoyed working in a restaurant. He attended the tour, liked what he saw – and it has proved a perfect fit as he now works at Studley Castle where he is regarded as “very capable and friendly and part of the team.”   

WSES Interim Delivery Lead, Charlotte Smith, said: “We looked at Jay's skills and qualities and matched them to sectors and jobs. Jay had previously enjoyed working in a restaurant so when an Inclusive Industry Tour came up with Studley Castle in the hospitality sector, we encouraged him to attend. 

“We considered the barriers he had to overcome to attend and coached him with coping strategies and calming techniques, for example having headphones for the journey to work and sitting next to someone he trusts on the transport.  

“On the industry tour Jay liked the atmosphere. The staff at Studley Castle were brilliant, making him feel welcome and listened to, so he started looking at jobs there which match his skills and qualities. He identified kitchen porter as a strong match, so we contacted Studley Castle directly and, as a Fair Chance Employer, they agreed to a reasonable adjustment at interview stage.  

“Instead of a formal interview we asked for a work trial, so Jay could show his skills first hand. Jay had all the right experience and skills for the job but finds it hard to talk about them. He also had anxiety around meeting new people in a formal setting, so being able to get stuck in and have a go at the job allowed his true potential to be seen.” 

Jay impressed on his trial and was offered a permanent post. Assisted by his Supported Employment Journey Guide, he filled in the HR forms and induction paperwork. Two months into his role he is receiving regular visits from the Employment Support Advisor and beginning to think about the future. He is considering completing an apprenticeship with Studley Castle and is continuing to grow in confidence.  

“I have learned that I am good at my job,” said Jay. “I am reliable and always on time and have grown in confidence and feel like I am secure and safe, I have never been able to trust people and feel like I am no longer an outsider. I have a purpose. 

“I am not just a kitchen porter, I am part of a team and I look forward to going to work. I never thought I would say that.”


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