As part of their support programme for students, Seashell Trust facilitates work experience opportunities to foster the progression from college to supported employment after graduation. Prioritising a supportive work environment for these placements, the team at the Trust collaborates with companies who want to encourage inclusive employment opportunities, which can be difficult for corporate environments to know where to begin. Working in collaboration with the Trust was the perfect way for both organisations to jointly provide a valuable placement for one of their students.
The shared values and ethos in promoting equal and inclusive opportunities with Seashell Trust motivated Christie & Co to offer a work placement opportunity to Shaquille Awofolu, a Royal College Manchester student at Seashell Trust. After Seashell Trust assessed the office’s suitability and staff were fully briefed on his specific needs and skills, Shaquille began working in the Manchester office in September 2017, responsible for key tasks suited to his abilities and has quickly become a valuable member of the Manchester team.
Following the completion of his work placement and graduation from college in July 2018, Shaquille was brought on board to join Christie & Co in a permanent position in the Manchester office in an administrative role once a week and he continues to be a valued member of the team, five months on.
Courteney Donaldson, Managing Director – Childcare & Education at Christie & Co comments, “We are absolutely delighted to have welcomed Shaquille to our team and he has become a highly valued team member. Seashell Trust provided excellent support to us at the start of Shaquille’s work placements, assisting us in understanding his needs and teaching all of our Manchester based team some basic sign language skills, which we have developed and grown in our confidence of use.
“Shaquille takes great pride in his work and we really wanted to offer him continuity, doing a task we value highly, when he graduated from Seashell College. Shaquille not only takes great pride in his job when he joins us each Wednesday, but he takes much pride in preparing for work. He would undoubtedly win our weekly best dressed award were we to have one, as he ‘skips with joy’ in to the office each week, immaculately dressed in his suit and always wearing a cheery, happy disposition. When Shaquille first joined our team, we thought that he would be the primary benefactor from having work experience, which evolved into paid employment, but how wrong we were. It is our team and all of our Manchester based staff that are the real benefactors.
“Everyone takes so much joy in Shaquille joining us each week, he is such a pleasure and a wonderful young man with whom we are all incredibly proud to work with. I would very much encourage other employers to seek out young adults in need of similar opportunities as our experience has been wholly rewarding for everyone involved.”
Christie & Co is proud to work with Seashell Trust in encouraging people with different skills to utilise in them in the workplace.