Employment changes lives

Supported employees from North Lanarkshire show off their certificates
Supported employees from North Lanarkshire show off their certificates

A special event took place in Motherwell to recognise 11 supported employees who have amassed over 160 years in paid work.

Coming from all over North Lanarkshire, each received a certificate of achievement for their hard work, determination and dedication in sustaining their jobs.

The service, run by North Lanarkshire Council, provides vital support for people with learning disabilities, acquired brain injury, mental health issues and young care leavers to find employment.

Service manager Maureen Cook said: “We’re supporting over 280 people, with over 170 in employment and the difference employment makes cannot be underestimated - it changes people’s lives!

“Our service has helped 75 per cent of the people supported into work remain in their jobs for two years or more.

“We are now working with over 100 companies, 64 per cent of whom have recruited from us more than once, due to the success of the job match and the valuable skills and qualities people we support bring to an employer.”

Supported employees commented that having a job gives them more money, helps them meet new friends, improves their confidence, gives a better social life and stops them getting bored.

Val Cuthill, a clerical assistant at New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell campus, said: “Being in work has given me the confidence to move to living independently in my own flat.”

Tommy Holmes, who works at Bellshill McDonald’s, added: “I am happy and proud of myself that I’m working.”