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Karis Lees from Moston is in a steady job for the first time thanks to the support she got on the Working Well programme from The Work Company.  23 year old Karis is working as a Housekeeper at the Premier Inn Manchester Central on Portland Street in Manchester.

The Working Well service, which was commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and is part-funded by the European Social Fund, is delivered by The Work Company in Manchester, Salford and Trafford.  The service is designed to help people overcome challenges they may face in getting a job or progressing in work.  After referral by Jobcentre Plus, clients are allocated a dedicated keyworker, who works with them to identify their abilities and needs, and helps to pull together a package of support to meet their needs.

Karis didn’t have a strong work history, having only had short term and casual employment before the birth of her son, who is now four years old.  She wanted to work, but her lack of experience and her childcare responsibilities made it difficult to get interviews.  When her son was old enough to start school, Karis was referred to Working Well to help her to secure employment.

Together with her keyworker, Karis developed a CV, which she’d never had before, and they worked on increasing her confidence, and identifying the skills and abilities that she possessed.  Karis was also advised about her benefits situation to ensure that she would be better off in work. 

After just over two months on the programme, Karis was referred for a one week work trial at the Premier Inn Manchester Central, who had vacancies for housekeepers.  At the end of the week, Karis was delighted to be offered the job.

Karis said:  “I’m really happy to be in work and I’m enjoying the job.  I’m working 20 hours a week, which fits in well with my childcare responsibilities.  When I was out of work, I was miserable and feeling down.  I didn’t go out much and couldn’t see a way out of my situation.  The keyworkers I worked with on Working Well couldn’t have been more helpful and positive.  They helped me to recognise the qualities I could bring to a job and gave me much more confidence.  Even since I started the job, they have been in regular contact to make sure that I’m doing well.”

“There are lots of opportunities within the company, and I’d like to stay here and develop more skills.  I’ve recommended Working Well to my mum, and other friends who were in similar positions to me.“

Sarah Hughes, Operations Manager at Premier Inn said:  “Keris has been great, she’s fitted in really well with the team here and is a hard worker.  We’ve been very pleased with the calibre of recruits that we’ve had from The Work Company.  They have been very well prepared and have known what to expect when they have come for a work trial or an interview.  We’ve taken on seven staff from them so far and would expect the relationship to flourish going forward.”