In October, Mark came into Work on the Horizon (WOTH) after being advised about the services we offer from the Walsall Job Centre. Mark enquired how the team could help him find employment. We informed Mark about our one to one job search sessions and booked him in to discuss in more detail what type of work Mark was looking for. In the one to one appointment Mark explained about his health issues. Mark suffers with diabetes and as a result of his illness he has undergone major operations over recent years which have caused him to be unable to work.

Mark was on employment and support allowance from 2009-2011 however in 2011, he had his benefits changed from ESA to Jobseekers allowance (JSA) meaning he had to actively start looking for work.

Mark’s employment history was mainly in warehousing, he was formally employed as a CNC operator and warehouse operative however due his health and mobility restrictions, heavy lifting duties were no longer appropriate for him to undertake. When Mark’s benefits changed to JSA, Mark volunteered in St Giles Hospice charity shop which encouraged him to discover a passion for retail. In addition, Mark has completed Level 2 retail training so we decided that a part-time retail position would be a great way to get back on the employment ladder. 

When we had narrowed down what positions Mark could apply for we set about applying for various stores for retail assistant roles. Mark was soon requested to attend an interview at Asda but was unsuccessful. Despite the knock back, Mark still attended weekly job search sessions and we eventually sent his CV to Home Bargains. Mark came into WOTH a few weeks later to let the team know he had successfully passed the interview stage and would be starting his new position as a shop assistant, working 25 hours a week.

Mark’s main barrier to work was his health and mobility issues. Due to being unable to work in warehousing, an area he has many years of experience in, Mark was faced with the daunting prospect of starting work in an unfamiliar sector however due to Mark’s voluntary experience and his friendly personality, retail was a good option to look into. Throughout Mark’s time at WOTH, he remained positive about finding work and his positive attitude and commitment helped him secure a fantastic opportunity.

Mark is now settled in his new job at Home Bargains and has recently been in touch to let us know that he is still enjoying his new job!