Career Connect

Tracy Briggs, GM ETE Team Leader, explains how, through a Job Club, she was able to support ex-offender Michael as he prepared for his first interview since 2017.

Career Connect supports ex-offenders through our subsidiary company, Achieve North West Connect (ANWC). Our team works on a number of contracts including Greater Manchester Education, Training and Employment (GM ETE), which supports ex-offenders onto a new path.

Tracy Briggs, GM ETE Team Leader, says:

“Michael had served a sentence of four years and wanted to return to a role in customer service, an area in which he had worked prior to serving his most recent custodial sentence.

“He had done some preparation for exploring the world of work post-release, but at the Job Club, which he attended regularly, he was able to consolidate what he had learned, build new employability skills and apply them to his job search.

“He was on probation when he found a job vacancy as trade counter assistant, for which he had an interview. He was delighted, but also very nervous, as he hadn’t attended a job interview since 2017.

“However, he was able to attend the Job Club the day before his interview, where I helped advise him on the best way to prepare. Michael was able to spend the day researching the company, looking for examples of the company’s work that he could discuss, and I also helped him work on his interview technique. We discussed possible questions and Michael practised his answers.

“We also went over how he would disclose his conviction with the employer, should he be asked to disclose any unspent convictions.

“Michael said he felt much more confident, and ready for his interview. I was delighted when he called me to say that the employer had offered him the job straight away.

“This was a great opportunity to work with a person on probation right up to the point of interview.

“The focus was on helping Michael focus on his strengths and gain a deep understanding of the role and the company, to ensure there were no surprises at interview. This preparation helped him build confidence and he said it kept him calm on the day.

“He is now fully settled into his new role, and enjoying it, as he continues to plan his future. The employer was so impressed with him that they rang the recruitment agency asking for “more Michaels.””

*Michael is not his real name and has been changed to protect his identity.

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