Inclusive Employment Team Manager, Beth Durling was Josh’s Job Coach and supported him to pursue a work experience placement to give him an insight into the world of work.
A creative individual, Josh wanted to explore working in marketing and graphic design. He initially began a work placement at a local web design company, but unfortunately it wasn’t the right fit for him.
Beth approached ECL Marketing and Communications Manager, Victoria Milne about Josh joining the ECL marketing team for three months.
The team were delighted to welcome Josh on board, as they needed an extra pair of due to an open vacancy.
Josh, accompanied by Beth, worked one day a week at ECL’s head office in Chelmsford helping the marketing team with their graphic design and social media.
As Josh is non-verbal, Beth job shadowed with him to help him feel more at ease and help him to communicate with his colleagues.
Josh and the team instantly found a way of working that suited them all. They used Microsoft Teams to instant message and share documents, this allowed Josh to engage with his colleagues in a way that was comfortable for him.
As Josh became more settled, he would engage in written conversation with his colleagues sharing stories of how his week had been and the antics of his pet dog Benji.
Josh said: “I wanted to work in the marketing team because I am passionate about creativity and building on my communication skills, and marketing is a great way to experience both.
“Working with the marketing team was an amazing experience. Everyone was friendly, kind, and always made me feel included, which made every project run smoothly. I enjoyed being creative the most, not to mention having the opportunity to collaborate with such a dedicated team.
“I really enjoyed working in an office environment. I found the structure and routine of the workday to be very fulfilling. Having Beth shadowing was helpful as it provided me with the opportunity to learn from her experiences and her support helped to ease any initial anxiety I had about the new environment and meeting new people. She was always on hand if I had any questions and she also helped me with travel training on the way to and from work so I also got to experience the ‘commuting’ element of working life.
Marketing and Communications Manager, Victoria Milne said: “Josh was a huge asset to our team. We had a gap in our resource and Josh being with us one day a week helping with creating our graphics and social media content took the pressure off of the rest of the team. His designs were fantastic! We were so impressed that we had him managing a project to create a new suite of editable social media squares for our internal social media platform Blink. We loved having him with us for work experience and would happily welcome him back any time.”
Josh went on to say: “I feel like I benefited a lot from doing work experience. It allowed me to gain practical experience in the field I am interested in and to see how things work in a real-life setting. I definitely gained valuable experience and skills that will benefit me in the future. My time working at ECL has helped me make decisions on what kind of work I’d like to pursue going forwards.”
When asked what advice he would give to others young people in a similar situation considering work experience, Josh said: “Until you give it a shot, you will never know what you can achieve. The journey of life involves continuous learning and personal growth. Working over the summer has helped me feel more prepared for college, and I feel much more confident about my ability to succeed.”
Josh started college in September and is thoroughly enjoying his Level 2 Fashion, Interiors and Graphics course. He is also volunteering one day a week at his local St Helena Hospice shop helping prep the clothing and creating displays on the shop floor, a position that complements his college course well.