As told by Melvin Hedges, retail trainer, Ipswich.

CDY had a background of family problems and had been diagnosed with ADHD, Irlen Syndrome and dyslexia. Not attending school regularly, CDY had failed to get suitable GCSEs. After leaving school she was exhibiting poor and inappropriate behaviour at home, was not interested in finding work and had low literacy and numeracy levels and little confidence or self-esteem.

On coming to Nacro, CDY was given an initial assessment, along with a Forskills assessment to gain a better understanding of her needs. With a lot of one-to-one support and after an exploration of different options, it was decided that CDY should start a City & Guilds retail knowledge training programme with the provision of aptitude tests at the start of the programme to determine which units were most appropriate for her to undertake. Reviews were conducted every four weeks to evaluate CDY’s rate of progress and development, as well as what actions were required to prepare her to attend a work placement for the continued development of her skills and abilities.

A suitable placement was identified at Currys/PC World and then discussed with CDY. Nacro made weekly visits every Friday to see CDY on the placement which helped her to settle in well, which included observing CDY on the shop floor undertaking duties, providing feedback upon performance, general conversations about her personal and social experiences and how she felt about the placement, and a discussion with supervisors and managers about how CDY was performing and developing.

Progress was good from the outset and CDY was happy, demonstrating very good team working skills, as well as quickly developing skills in a range of other areas, including deliveries, recovery, merchandising and customer service.

CDY’s strong performance was also noted by the management team and she was offered a contract of employment once she had completed her retail qualification on the City & Guilds programme with Nacro.

CDY continues to receive one-to-one support and mentoring in relation to all vocational aspects as well as personal and social development training, with opportunities to discuss any issues with her key worker.