Stephen's story

Stephen with a sighted guide litter picking

Stephen's Job Centre Plus work coach suggested joining the Fair Start Scotland programme which is delivered by our Employment and Training Unit (ETU). As Stephen and his ETU advisor got to know each other, they identified that he would benefit from learning new skills, as well as completing additional qualifications to widen his work options.

To help with this, Stephen started a 13-week course with Canal College which included working with 3rd sector organisations: Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Canals, Archaeology Scotland & Land & Forestry Scotland. To allow Stephen to get the best out of his work experience, additional support was provided such as health and safety training; workplace risk assessments; digital training for using a smart tablet; as well as a sighted guide to support Stephen.

Stephen's sighted guide, Annie, was a fellow Fair Start Scotland participant based in Stirling who previously completed the Canal Course. The team of advisors running Fair Start Scotland across the Forth Valley area suggested creating a 13-week job role for Annie as Stephen's sighted guide. This enabled Stephen to gain the support he needed to complete the course safely. As a result of working together, Keep Scotland Beautiful offered Annie further employment.

Stephen completed the Canal Course achieving an SQA Level 2 award in Climate Heritage, John Muir Award and The Heritage Hero Award and is now continuing to work with his ETU advisor to look for employment.

ETU hopes Stephen's story is a great example to employers of how with the right support in place, including funding where available, reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate the broadest range of new employees. ETU continues to be a support for local people with disabilities looking for work.

To find out more about Fair Start Scotland, or any of the programmes offered by ETU, contact the team:

Employment & Training Unit