Employability Project Officer

A Day in the Life of…Dionne

Role: Employability Project Officer (Hedleys Employability)

The main part of my role is to identify a suitable working environment for both the student and the employer. This soft approach to work placements helps break down barriers employers foresee to recruiting a disabled person.


After surviving the morning commute, my day begins with responding to emails from prospective employers. Good communication is a vital part of my job so I can place our students into the right role.


One of the favourite parts of my job is getting out and meeting the businesses who support the Foundation. My first port of call is with Tesco’s Community Champion, Nigel Toase, who is delivering a Farm to Fork workshop to 6 of our students showing how the food sold in store is produced. The students get to experience working on a till and serving the customers too!


I dash to Springboard, a training provider for 19-year-old students. A quick chat with the tutor allows me to negotiate ways in which Hedleys Employability can work in partnership and look at a range of their programmes available to suit our students. A lot of ground work is done here and my aim is to promote access to employment for our students.


I zoom back into the office like Lewis Hamilton (sticking to all speed limits, of course), to catch up on admin tasks and grab some lunch. I sit down to log who I have spoken to and maintain records for students who are completing a placement.


One last visit for the day is with a new employer, a park ranger in Heaton to discuss the opportunity to ‘adopt a plot’. I’m pleased to be working on this so dust off the wellies and aim to make a good first impression by getting my hands dirty! Hedge trimming, tree maintenance and painting are all some of the things which the ranger hopes our students will enjoy doing with our very own area in the park.


The end of another week at work is here with lots achieved in the Employability office!