When Gary left school in the 1970s he didn’t plan to be unemployed for almost 40 years. But that’s what happened.
Gary had wanted to get his life on track since moving to Southall in 2008. But he doubted if anyone would offer a job to someone like him, a middle aged man with no qualifications and no work experience. Gary had noticed the Catalyst for Jobs and Skills (CJS) office as he travelled past on the 207 bus from Southall to Ealing. He can’t really explain what it was that made him get off the bus one day and go into the CJS office, without an appointment or even any idea of what CJS could do, but he describes this as “the best thing I ever did”.
When Gary walked into the CJS office on that first day, he found a warm and friendly welcome from staff who encouraged him to be positive and showed him how to start building a CV. Six months and many visits to CJS later, Gary now has qualifications in Logistics and Customer Services and his first ever paid job as a seasonal postal worker at the Royal Mail depot in west London. With support from CJS, Gary is applying for a full time job with Royal Mail, hoping to continue working in the job he loves.
After many years of drifting, Gary now feels confident, focused and optimistic for the future. Even if he doesn’t get a permanent contract with Royal Mail, he now has the skills and motivation to look for other jobs.
So, to anyone who ever thought of jumping off a bus to find out more about something they saw from the top deck, Gary would say “go for it”. He did and it changed his life.