Mark's Story

In January 2018, Mark was referred to the Dumfries and Galloway Council Employability and Skills Service by his DWP job coach. Mark was unemployed and struggling with depression and anxiety. During the first meeting with our Employability Tutor, Emilia, Mark said he felt “unemployable”, “without relevant qualifications” and that “all prospects of getting a job are out of the window”.

A few months down the line, Mark is half way through the Dumfries and Galloway Employability Award, Silver Level, achieved an accredited certificate in Health & Safety, and working full time! He wants to share his story with those who are struggling with similar problems and who have “lost faith in getting better” and to tell them “DO NOT GIVE UP”.

“If there is anything I learned over the last few months is to not to give up on yourself, just keep going, keep believing!”

In June 2017, 6 months before his referral to us, Mark was struggling with his mental health and taking medication. However, his condition was getting worse not improving. We referred him to an NHS behavioural therapist and Mark started to feel better after speaking with “somebody that cared” and “wanted to help”. Following advice, Mark decided to rebuild his social network and “get off medicine”. When speaking with Emilia he expressed that what he really needed was a pair of listening ears that could guide him through the hardship – as he “had capacity to deal with it – but no confidence”.

Mark obtained his HNC in Photography in 2014 but due to a lack of opportunities, he was unable to secure paid work. However, within 4 months of being introduced to our Service he achieved an accredited Health and Safety  certificate, completed 3 classroom units of the D&G Employability Award, improved his skills and knowledge on CV building, job searching & interview skills and secured paid work!

He is also working towards Workplace Core Skills – the final part of the Employability Award and is awaiting further training for Workplace First Aid.

Over the 5 months that Mark was with us, he obtained support from an Employability Tutor, Link Worker and Employee Engagement Officer. The core support included weekly 1-2-1 meetings, regular phone calls, emails, text messages and group sessions.