Following the breakdown of his marriage and an operation to his knee that left him unable to continue his long-distance driving work in the Netherlands, David moved back to the UK to look for work and start over.
In the 18 years he had been away, the job market here in the UK had changed drastically and David found it difficult to secure meaningful work that complimented his skills and interests.
Additionally, some of the qualifications he’d gained in Europe were not recognised in the UK.
After being referred to Halifax Opportunities Trust’s employment team via the Jobcentre, David was paired with Jo, who set to work finding out what work would be suitable for him.
He’d always preferred being outdoors, away from a desk and being able to work under his own initiative, so Jo organised for him to complete accredited Level 1 and BTEC Level 2 training in Warehousing and Fork Lift Truck driving, as well as Health and Safety.
David sailed through the courses, passing them all, but still found he struggled with his confidence and feelings of anxiety when meeting new people or entering stressful situations such as job interviews.
To help him increase his confidence Jo suggested David take part in physical activity and told him about a fitness programme run through Hopeful Families. The fitness programme, in conjunction with Primal Training, was a structured 10 week course based around functional fitness, weight training and healthy eating that gave participants the opportunity to increase both their fitness and confidence levels, feel part of a team and support each other to achieve their individual goals.
“The Primal Training course was brilliant” said David. “They worked us really hard, it was difficult, but at the end I felt really proud of what I’d achieved”.
With his confidence boosted, David felt ready to look for work. He started getting more interviews and when he saw a job for a part-time driver advertised with a local dry cleaners he jumped at the chance.
David was offered the job after leaving his CV with the manager and started his new role in July 2019.
“It’s great” he said. “It’s me in the van, out and about collecting and delivering orders, meeting people. I love driving so it’s perfect really!”
When asked about his experience with the employment team at Halifax Opportunities Trust David said “They’re like family now, we have a real laugh and they’ve really helped me from the very beginning to find work that I’m going to enjoy and feel good about – they’ve given me so many opportunities, it’s been a long time coming getting this job but I’m glad I stuck at it!”
And what about your first pay cheque? “I’ll be going to the record shop to buy some new vinyl and probably tickets to see some rock bands!”