This time on the ELITE Jobseeker Spotlight, we had the chance to catch up with Daniel from Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan. Daniel, a 24-year-old young man, first came to ELITE in 2018 in order to find employment – after an initial meeting with our Employment Advisors, it was apparent that Daniel qualified for our Engage to Change project. The project which assists those with Autism and/or a Learning Disability aged 16-25 in Wales provides job coaching funds. With this backing, ELITE’s team of Employment Advisors got to work in creating a bespoke recruitment plan for Daniel tailored to his needs and wishes.

Daniel, who was recently diagnosed with Autism and Dyslexia, showed a good level of ability and working proficiency with many items on ELITE’s vocational profiling process. The main struggles came from Daniel’s verbal communication and OCD tendencies regarding numbers. Daniel had previously volunteered at the Emmaus Charity shop on Cowbridge High Street – experience that ELITE were keen highlight when it came to finding suitable employment. It didn’t take long for ELITE’s Employer Engagement team to locate the perfect vacancy for Daniel, a Catering Assistant job at the Penny Farthing Café on Cowbridge High Street. Utilising his skills in customer interaction and physical tasks obtained through volunteering, Daniel was keen to take on this new challenge.

Daniel started working at the café in February 2019 alongside his Employment Advisor Ruby. It didn’t take long for Daniel to get settled into his duties following a thorough induction from the Penny Farthing staff. With Ruby not too far away, Daniel began his tasks wiping down tables and clearing away any dishes – once cleared, Daniel would take all items into the kitchen for the kitchen staff to wash. With Daniel fast approaching the 6-month mark at the Penny Farthing Café, he has started to show real promise and confidence within his role. A regular face to customers and slowly becoming a staff favourite, Daniel’s communication skills have vastly improved. He has also adopted various coping strategies when it comes to his OCD within the work environment, closely monitored by Ruby.  With Daniel close to independently working without any support, his Employment Advisor Ruby had this to say on his progression:

“It has been a pleasure to see Daniel’s confidence grow in the work-place; in the space of a few short weeks, Daniel has improved immensely! He has become part of a very efficient team at the Penny Farthing and Daniel has adapted well to the fast-paced environment. The staff have been very welcoming and this has also helped Daniel settle in well to his new job. I’ve seen how he interacts with customers and staff and I’m so proud to see how much he’s accomplished in a short time.”

Daniel has taken the step from volunteering to paid employment well within his stride. With minimal input from our Employment Advisors and sticking to his employment plan – Daniel has become a valued member of the Penny Farthing team. With Daniel starting to work at the front of house, you might be shown to your table by the man himself next time you visit the Cowbridge café!

A reminder that you can read all about our amazing Engage to Change project here: http://www.engagetochange.org.uk/