Posted 07.02.2022

Disability Action continually endeavours to support disabled people whilst on the Apprenticeships NI Programme or in the workplace. Here's David's* story - an Apprentice Technician at IceMOS.

At the initial referral meeting, Disability Action's Supported Employment Officer (SEO) Marty learned that David aim was to gain employment to enable his participation in an apprenticeship with training delivered by Building Services Academy (BSA).

David was supported to engage with and identify a willing employer. Eventually, an employer was identified and he was offered employment with IceMOS as an Apprentice Technician. 

David has autism that presents as sensory sensitivity and difficulty with social interaction. So, prior to his start date in November 2019, David completed a job analysis with his SEO Marty to identify his needs within his new work environment. 

The reasonable adjustments he required had no associated cost and included establishing a trusted colleague he could report to with work-related queries, and a basic level of autism awareness amongst his colleagues.

David was provided further support from his SEO Marty through the in-work support phase of Job Match to discuss and address issues within his employment and training environment. Marty liaised with his tutors and manager to resolve issues promptly.

David has been splitting his time, attending BSA to study towards a Level 3 Electrotechnical qualification while working for IceMOS. 

David’s Manager at IceMOS has said:

He (David) has a keen interest in learning and developing skills, attention to detail, and ability to focus. He shows good initiative as well as a good attitude. He shows the ability to work independently as well as part of the team and has exceptional communication skills.

On his contribution to business operations David's Manager said:

David has provided excellent support to our Technicians/Engineers in the areas of equipment maintenance and repair… David has surprised us with his level of IT skills: installation, upgrades and repairs; providing great support and working closely with our IT team. His work is always of a high standard… with perfect time-keeping. David is extremely beneficial to IceMOS as his overall attitude and work ethic can be adapted and implemented to meet our needs.

On the benefit of apprenticeships his Manager said:

IceMOS strongly believe that the apprenticeship scheme is valuable to both us and the student.

David continues to work for IceMOS at this time and says he is ‘loving his job’ and is extremely grateful for the support he received since starting on the project in 2019.

Feedback from David's tutor has been very encouraging too. His performance in training has been excellent – achieving top of class in exams.  

David now plans to learn to drive so that he can drive to work and run errands for family.

For more information on Job Match or how we can support you on the Apprenticeships NI programme contact Marty McLoughlin MIEP, Job Match Project Manager (Interim) on 028 9029 7880 or email [email protected].

There’s still time to register for our free online event on Tuesday 8 February or Thursday 10 February. Click here to register.

*Participant’s name has been changed throughout