Case Study

James digging his way out of unemployment

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After leaving school without any formal qualifications and little work experience, James Wallace didn’t know what he wanted to do and had little confidence in his own abilities. In January 2017, Job Centre Plus, Irvine referred him to our Ayrshire branch that deals with employability and training for individuals and employers. We registered James on North Ayrshire Council’s Pipeline contract, which we deliver on behalf of North Ayrshire Council to support people with multiple barriers back into employment, training or further education.

Our input

  • We carried out an initial assessment with James to identify any existing practical and emotional barriers and created an action plan to work with James to remove these barriers;
  • We updated James CV and tailored it to suit various industries;
  • James attended and completed five Resilience Training workshops focusing on Strengths, Positivity & Failure, Mental Toughness, Mindset and Character & Goals.
  • We quickly identified that James would be suited to a practical, hands on job, preferably working outside doing gardening or horticulture. Our recruitment officer then targeted companies in the local area who specialise in this type of work.


On the 27th March 2017 James started  6 months paid traineeship for a local landscaping company.  This programme specialises in training on all aspects of gardening and horticulture.

As part of his contract James had to carry out the Ayrshire Certificate of Employability SCQF Level 4 qualification. James split his time working for 21 hours per week and spending 4 hours per week with our team working on achieving this qualification.

On the first day of training James did not have any confidence in his abilities, particularly literacy. Following support and encouragement from our trainer, James has produced great quality work to support his qualification and has received excellent feedback from his workplace and from an internal verifier. James’s confidence in his abilities has grown considerably and he is a lot happier.


“When I first came to CEIS Ayrshire I was not confident in my own abilities and struggled with literacy. I also didn’t really know what I wanted to do work wise.  I completed resilience workshops which boosted my confidence and gave me the motivation to start work.  Since I have started my part-time job it has given me a boost to go out and look at full time jobs and I feel better in myself”.

James Wallace (Client)


“Since James started with us he has had 100% attendance, is always on time at the start and after breaks prepared for work. He demonstrates good safety awareness and always asks questions and flags up issues of safety concern.  He always follows the dress code and wears the correct Personal Protective Equipment.  James is very enthusiastic about learning new skills and completing tasks.  He works well with others, always follows instructions and seeks clarification when unsure”.

Robby Gass, Hazeldene Horticulture (Employer)


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