Luke Parsons, 20, is a Stock Replenishment Assistant at B&M in Gloucester.
Luke started at B&M in January 2016 on a 16 hour contract.
Luke has ADHD, dyslexia and learning difficulties. Luke left school at sixteen with no qualifications and had never had a paid job.
Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.
“My ADHD was pretty bad when I was younger; I was very naughty, the clown at school and back chatted everyone. I had to learn how to control my condition.
"I completed work experience arranged by the Job Centre, however due to my difficulties I couldn’t get work and I was referred to Pluss.
"I wasn’t confident completing paperwork and Christian at Pluss supported me to create a CV and to apply for vacancies online. I was nervous to attend interviews and Christian supported me with interview techniques. I attended a mock interview at Pluss where I dressed smartly and was in a real interview setting.
"Then, Christian told me about a vacancy at B&M and sent off my CV. I felt confident at the interview and the manager was aware of my health condition. I was offered a work trial to show them I could do the job. I completed a three day work trial and was over the moon when I was offered a contract. I was proud of my achievement.
"A typical day for me at B&M is dealing with deliveries, replenishment of stock on the shop floor, checking the prices and dealing with customers.
"Since working at B&M my confidence has increased, I have developed manual handling skills and I know the layout of the store well. I can direct customers when they ask for things.
"I didn’t want to be claiming benefits and I am a better off working. Also, my girlfriend is happy due to me having more money. I have made new friends and get on well with my colleagues. I like to make people laugh as it makes the day go quicker. I go around to my mates house, Steve from work, and play Fifa on our days off.
"B&M have been so supportive and if I did need help I can always ask. The management is so friendly and this makes the job fun. My next goal is to become a supervisor at B&M."
Sharon, Store Manager at B&M
"B&M have worked with Pluss in the past and were happy for Luke to complete a three day work trial. I was really impressed by Luke’s attitude and his eagerness to learn. He would say “Show me how to do and it will do it”.
“Luke is a people’s person, great with customers and willing to work hard and this is necessary in the fast paced retail business. Luke is also a team player and makes friends easily – this has improved the team spirit. His laugh is infectious and can be heard around the store.
"I would definitely recommend Pluss because you get the freedom to get to know the person during the work trial. Some people don’t interview as well and we could miss out on potentially excellent people."