Abbie's Story

Abbie at Get Oldham Working

Abbie, 20, from Oldham joined Greater Manchester Talent Match in August 2015 after a long period of unemployment. She has now played a leading role in helping to shape a local Council’s traineeship programme for people with learning disabilities.

Abbie finished college in 2014 and since then had become quite isolated. Abbie struggled to find work, due to a combination of issues including dyspraxia, epilepsy and having additional learning needs.

As part of her journey, Abbie completed a 2 weeks work experience placement at a café in Oldham.

The opportunity arose after Abbie attended an interview for a Traineeship. Although she was unsuccessful, her Talent Coach, Janet Whitehead from Upturn Enterprise explains, “Abbie managed to work her magic and was offered her a two week work experience placement.”

Abbie’s mother says that she was met with “appreciation and respect and worked in a lovely team”.

Following on from this, Abbie started a work placement with The Get Oldham Working team at Oldham Council, helping out in the office with general office duties. Abbie also completed The Step Up course gaining valuable confidence and communication skills.

As part of her placement, Abbie was invited to an event at the Oldham Library to support local business to employ people with health problems or disabilities called Making Employment Accessible. Abbie had 'meeting and greeting' duties for the event welcoming all the employers and other visitors.

On her time on placement at The Get Oldham Working Team at Oldham Council, Abbie said; “I am really enjoying it here, everyone is really nice and everyone helps me if I need it, but I always get my work done on time”.

On completing her placement, Abbie was keen to continue working at Oldham Council found that the traineeships on offer included tasks that were not possible due to her learning disabilities.

Jonathan Phillips is the Manager of Operations for the Get Oldham Working Programme at Oldham Council. He says, “We had been looking to develop alternative traineeships for a while, particularly for those who are unable to access our traditional traineeships.

“Having met Abbie and seeing how well she worked and how keen she was to continue working it spurred us on to create our new Making Employability Accessible traineeship”

“We have now created 10 job placements across the Council as part of the Making Employability Accessible traineeship scheme for those who cannot carry out the full role, but for people like Abbie, who have the right skills to carry out part of the role.”

On working with Abbie, Jonathan said, “It’s great to have Abbie as part of the team. She’s a hard worker and it’s been great to watch her confidence grow as her skills increase”.

Abbie’s Talent Coach, Janet said,  ‘On visiting Abbie today at Get Oldham Working I have found an increase in her confidence and self esteem, her communication and her team working skills have also greatly improved and I'd like to thank the team for their support. Abbie I'm so proud of you as I know your mum is too!”

Read more stories from people involved in Greater Manchester Talent Match by clicking here.