Searching for work for six years was enough to give anyone ‘the blues’, but Kevin Hargreaves is delighted to be employed again – and the self-styled Karaoke King says that his life has now gained a new tempo.
Kevin was able to sing the praises of the employability support that he received when he met Councillor Rishi Shori, the Leader of Bury Council, and Mr Geoff Little, its Chief Executive, when they visited the local Ingeus office of the Working Well (Work and Health Programme) which provides tailored support to individuals with disabilities and health conditions, and long-term unemployed people, who are seeking employment.
“This was an excellent opportunity for our team to explain how we work to support those seeking job opportunities,” explained Jayne Garner, Head of Delivery with Ingeus. “Our guests were also able to hear the employment success stories of our clients, including Kevin who is now working as a catering assistant in a fast food restaurant.”
Bury resident Kevin, who has spina bifida, was referred by Julie Connor with Jobcentre Plus to the Working Well (Work and Health Programme) an employment support scheme delivered in Greater Manchester by Ingeus. It is an initiative commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and receives support from the European Social Fund.
After his key worker, Donna Mitchell, had assessed his skills, Kevin was given the opportunity to complete a digital inclusion course to update his IT skills, and he was provided with a laptop to help with his job search activities. He also reviewed his CV, improved his interview techniques and was helped to identify his potential employment goals.
“It’s great to be able to start each week and know that I now have a job to go to,” said Kevin. “Six years is a long time to be looking for work. I explained how I have progressed and I confessed to keeping my spirits up by singing. I love performing karaoke.”
Cllr Rishi Shori commented: “Bury Council is committed to supporting our residents into well paid and sustained employment, which is supported by the Greater Manchester flagship Working Well (Work and Health) Programme. We were inspired to hear from residents that have benefited from the Work and Health Programme support. Success stories, such as Kevin’s, exemplify why local residents are Bury’s biggest asset.”