Case Studies

SolidFoundationslogoFrom Making It Work – Employment & Training in Lambeth

“I received a flyer and, shortly after, a knock at the door from Olmec, promoting the employment support service that was being launched on the estate. My intial thought was ‘great, someone wants to get me a job’ so I was immediately interested to find out more”

Annamaria Stewart – Trainee Administrator/Resident Liaison Officer

"Starting my career so close to home has given me an extra boost of confidence. As a Higgins trainee I am not only able to develop myself but develop my own community"
“Starting my career so close to home has given me an extra boost of confidence. As a Higgins trainee I am not only able to develop myself but develop my own community”

Annamaria qualified from University in 2012 and left with a 2:1 in Marketing and Advertising Management. In her quest to find a job she was met with the same fate as many graduates facing the struggle of looking for employment in this current climate and found herself ‘stuck on the heap’ unable to gain employment in her qualified field. With little success or response from employers, the inevitable disheartening feelings began to set in and she was faced with the hard decision of simply taking any type of employment irrespective of her qualifications.

“I received a knock on my door from Olmec; they were promoting the employment support service that is on offer for Myatts Field North residents. Initially I was reserved in what to expect, however after attending one-to-one sessions with the employment advisor I started to gain a stronger understand of employability tools. We discussed tailoring CV’s, targeting employers and interview techniques; I enjoyed this and renewed my confidence in gaining employment.”

A position for Trainee Administrator became available with Higgins, which would be based on Myatts Field North estate; Annamaria put her CV and covering letter forward and was invited to an interview and was offered the position. Annamaria has proved that perseverance does pay off. She is now working as an estate based trainee in addition to being offered an opportunity to shadow the marketing department with Higgins Construction head office.

Michael Abraham: Trainee Site Engineer

"I am very happy with my job. I'm learning a lot and getting that needed experience for me to develop my degree further"
“I am very happy with my job. I’m learning a lot and getting that needed experience for me to develop my degree further”

Michael Abraham has shown tenacity and motivation in his quest for suitable employment within the field he studied. After completing a BA (Hons) in Civil Engineering with Transport and Surveying, at City University; Michael found an opportunity to work in a leading construction company outside the UK for a year called Salinni. Upon returning to the UK after completing a year working in East Africa, Michael sought work within the field of design engineering. Like most graduates, he found it increasingly hard to gain employment within his chosen field and consequently had to seek employment within the retail industry.

With the commencement of the regeneration of the Myatt Field North Estate, Michael took it upon himself to find an opportunity to be a part of it.

“Although my degree was primarily about ‘structural design’, I wanted to be able to get some experience on-site. I spoke to a Higgins Resident Liaison Officer who signposted me to an employment support service called Olmec who was working on the estate. The Olmec service was great; we worked on things like my CV and interview preparations and managing expectations of different jobs.”

After a few one-to-one support sessions with an Olmec employment support adviser, Michael was encouraged to put forward his CV for the Higgins Trainee Site Engineer. He was successful in his interview and offered the position as a site operative.

Isabelle Doe – Part Time Receptionist/ Media and Marketing Assistant

“When I heard about Olmec I had recently graduated from University with a degree in Art. I had been searching and applying for graduate positions, which were connected to my studies, however I wasn’t receiving much feedback at all. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t being shortlisted and this impacted on my confidence. I soon stopped applying for certain jobs, due to having no self-belief in my abilities to fulfil positions.

I found the sessions to be relaxed and felt that the employment advisor to be genuine in his attempt to help me in my job search. He talked through my CV, covering letter and art portfolio and advised me on areas for improvement. It wasn’t long before I saw the effects and started receiving feedback, shortly followed by an interview request. This was a great boost to my confidence, so following some interview advice; I attended the interview and was offered a job as a weekend receptionist in a Private Music School.

Attending sessions has given me the confidence to continue to search for full time work, and using the skills gained, I have successfully secured myself an internship as a Media and Marketing Assistant for an arts venue. I still contact Olmec for support in applications and advice, I enjoy attending sessions with the employment advisor, I always felt I could be honest, and there was never any pressure to apply for positions that I didn’t want to. The programme helped me build my confidence, and is supporting me in getting closer to reach my goal.”


Race Equality through economic and social justice