Home Coronavirus: Help and support Congratulations! David secures permanent employment
David Forrest from First Ark

Congratulations! David secures permanent employment

by Gemma Melling

Congratulations to Knowsley resident, David Forrest, who has just secured permanent employment as a Post and Provisions Assistant at First Ark’s head office in Prescot Knowsley, after being one of the first candidates to take up a supported employment position on Knowsley’s Empower Job Carving programme.

Empower is co-ordinated by Knowsley Council and aims to provide valuable work experience and employment opportunities for adults with a learning difficulty and / or disability.

What is ‘job carving’?

Job Carving takes less skilled tasks from different jobs and combines them into a single role ideally suited for a person with a learning difficulty and/or disability, which frees up time for other staff to concentrate on the more skilled aspects of their roles.

First Ark Group were one of three partners selected to work on the pilot of the Knowsley Empower Job Carving Programme which is helping to support adults with a learning difficulty and/or disability to find sustainable employment.

Knowsley Council worked with staff from First Ark to analyse what tasks could be taken from different roles and  combined these to create a job carved role within their organisation.  When the role of Post and Provisions Assistant was created, the council’s Job Coach identified David as a potential candidate and went along with him to have an informal meet and greet with staff at First Ark to learn more about the role.

David then did a four-week work placement that resulted in a six month paid position as Post and Provisions Assistant at First Ark’s head office in Prescot Knowsley.  First Ark were so impressed by his commitment and contribution to the business and the increased staff morale within the team that David has now been offered a permanent role within the organisation.

David said: “I’d been out of work for 18 months when Knowsley Council contacted me to tell me about The Empower Job Carving Programme and the role at First Ark.  This job has really helped build up my confidence and I’ve picked up some new skills.  Day-to-day I restock each kitchen, I monitor the printers and deliver the post. I’m delighted to have been offered a permanent position at First Ark – I really enjoy being part of the team at First Ark and everyone has been so supportive and welcoming.”

Leann Hearne, Group Chief Executive of First Ark Group, said: “We are delighted to offer David a permanent position at First Ark and fully support this successful community employment programme; it’s great that we are able to offer career opportunities to those that might otherwise have been over looked. One of our key business drivers focuses on offering life-changing opportunities to people within communities across Knowsley and the Empower programme clearly aligns with this.

“David has settled in well to our business and is learning new skills and enjoying being part of the team – we are delighted to have him on board.”

About the Empower Job Carving programme

Knowsley Council produces job specifications in easy read and video format making the recruitment process more accessible for potential applicants.  There are no formal interviews; potential candidates have an informal meet and greet with the new employer and do a work placement to see if the role is right for them.  If the employer and the candidate are happy with the role created, the placement moves to a paid position. Further support includes free disability awareness training for colleagues, a free analysis of tasks within the work place and job coaching support.

If you would like to find out more about the Empower Job Carving programme in Knowsley, contact Sue Temple-Fielding, Supported Employment Co-ordinator on 0151 443 3054 or 07976 582 255, or email sue at susan.temple-fielding@knowsley.gov.uk.