‘Dream job’ for Hannah thanks to path project

Hannah Harvey with her employment engagement adviser Cheryl Levers.
Hannah Harvey with her employment engagement adviser Cheryl Levers.

A pathway to help people with disabilities secure employment is already helping people get their “dream jobs”, organisers have said.

Launched on Monday, January 29, at the Citizens Advice Bureau office on Regent Street ,Mansfield, the scheme was officially announced.

Portland College, a special educational need facility on Nottingham Road, Harlow Wood, near Mansfield, is linking up with businesses and Nottingham Recovery College, to offer free guidance and training.

One Mansfield resident already benefiting from Portland Pathways is Hannah Harvey, who recently secured her “ dream job”.

The 24-year-old received help by the pathway team and now has a job as a teaching assistant at Garibaldi College in Forest Town.

Hannah, who has the hidden disabilities of Asperger’s syndrome and epilepsy, said: “It has given me a job I didn’t think I could do.”

“I didn’t know could get an apprenticeship as a TA – I had been on work experience for it before.

“They helped with contacting employer on my behalf .

“Cheryl Levers, my employment engagement adviser, sat with me outside of the interview, because I was quite nervous .

“She took me on the bus a few times, so I would know where to go before I started.

“I now help teach English and the staff are very supportive.”

Dr Mark Dale, college principal and chief executive officer at the college gave an presentation at the project’s official launch this week in Mansfield town centre.

He said: “ We believe disabled people are an untapped recourse.

“With this project we don’t have to meet certain quotas.

“We have had 40 references made to us in the first three months.

“We want to affect hundreds of people.”

What is ‘Portland Pathways’ going to do for Mansfield and Ashfield?

The new pathway set out by Portland College sets out plans help people who have a disability get into work.

The college plans to increase the number of external work placements and trails for further education students and open two high street centres in Ashfield and Mansfield .

The Mansfield support hub is based at the Advice Hub on Regent Street.

A link with Nottingham Recovery College will also deliver a five-week course to increase understanding and develop ways to get the most out of future opportunities. It runs until Wednesday, April, 18.

n For more information call the college on 01623 499193.