Two Weymouth people have been shortlisted in the prestigious ERSA Employability Awards, which recognise the best talent and turnaround stories in the welfare to work sector.
Emma Davis has been shortlisted in the Adviser of the Year category while James Croucher is on the shortlist in the Significant Achievement category.
James Croucher, 39, was unemployed and facing drugs charges when he signed up to the Links to Work programme.
He gained a supermarket job and quickly found his way back into the motor industry – the field which he originally worked in.
Mr Croucher has now been shortlisted for the Significant Achievement Award at the ERSA Employability Awards.
He said: “I feel humbled and honoured to be shortlisted for this award.
“It’s hard to see how far you’ve come unless others spell it out, this certainly makes me look back and see how far I’ve come along in the past year.
“I lost my job due to being arrested for drugs charges – I lost my job, my home and family, I had lost all confidence and self-esteem.”
He added: “My charges were holding me back immensely.
“Whilst technically self-inflicted, it was a sharp shock back to reality.
“Links to Work understood my situation and supported me 100% of the way, they gave me the confidence to take back my working life.”
When Mr Croucher got his first job, he came back to Links to Work to talk to others about his experience and helped others in a similar position.
Links to Work personal consultant Emma Davis said: “It is fantastic to see James progress so soon into paid employment, his attitude and commitment to succeed has really paid off.
“James has always been motivated and wanted to be proactive in his job search – his confidence shone through.”
Emma was also nominated by her line manager and peers for the ERSA Employability Awards for her commitment to helping others around her.
Emma, 41, works for Fedcap Employment on the Links to Work programme helping people across Dorset to find suitable, sustainable employment.
She has been described as a ‘role model’ by her colleagues and has consistently been as one of the top performers nationwide.
Speaking about her shortlisting, she said: “It feels really good to know my work has been recognised.
“I feel very valued and slightly overwhelmed by it all.”
The ERSA Employability Awards will be announced at a special ceremony on Thursday, June 20.
For more information please visit www.linkstowork.co.uk