– Lesley Jones

real_stories3James’s first contact with Kaleidoscope came in 2008 when he began exploring his options for employment, study, or a combination of the two.  James’s SCI occurred in 1990 and since that time he had engaged in a number of work experience arrangements in the hope that these would lead to paid employment.  At this time Kaleidoscope also encouraged James to refresh his computer knowledge and he enrolled in a computer skills course at MIT in order to update his computer skills. James went on to complete the National Certificate in Computer Skills Levels 1 and 2. However, disappointingly, paid employment didn’t result from the work experience opportunities.

Since the time of his injury James has also had extensive involvement playing with the Auckland Wheelbrakers and furthermore, maintained his fitness levels playing wheelchair tennis. His inclusion in the Wheelbrakers meant that he took care of all their wheelchair repairs and maintained all chairs in good working order on a voluntary basis. James’s excellent technical skills are derived from his earlier experience as a school leaver when he entered an apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner, however, due to his injury his apprenticeship training was interrupted and he was unable to continue his career in this area of work.
James came back to Kaleidoscope in 2013 feeling frustrated at his lack of success in finding suitable paid employment, and Kaleidoscope began working closely alongside James to prepare him for his job search. We assisted James by encouraging him to make contact with his friends and family and others within his personal networks to advise them of his search for work. We updated James’s CV and made adjustments that complimented current job search requirements based on employers preferences in today’s job vacancy market, and taught James how to search and apply for jobs on-line.

James was very keen and applied himself to his job search with confidence. James also expressed his openness to different types of work and with a great work ethic and enthusiastic approach to job searching it wasn’t long before James had his first interview. A vacancy came to Kaleidoscope through an employer looking for a technician to work in the workshop of his business where he manufactures LED lights. James met with Steve the owner of the business and they made a connection immediately. With the practicalities of wheelchair access and parking addressed, James undertook his second interview and was offered the role. He began his new position in November 2013 as a Technician for BrightLight Ltd and has not looked back.
Kaleidoscope continued to support James during his first three months of employment to ensure he settled in well and to also provide support and employer education for Steve. Over this period James has received very positive feedback from Steve and has established effective relationships with his colleagues. Due to increased sales the business relocated to larger premises in 2014, and James now prides himself on being part of the successful team at BrightLight Ltd.

James is working 20 hours per week.

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