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Jack McGarrie

Jack made the decision to leave school (summer 2020) and was referred by his teacher to the School Transitions team member within Invest in January 2020.  Jack has autism and felt he may struggle to gain employment having had no previous paid employment or experience of looking at college as a destination for the future but was adamant he no longer wished to continue with school.

Jack came into Invest and completed his registration appointments all arranged around his school timetable commitments.  Jack began attending Invest regularly at 9am on a Monday with his appointed advisor Kim.

Jack found these meetings to be really very helpful, both in terms of general support (such as “helping me plan my employment/future goals”) and in terms of general employment support.  Kim nominated me for digital college qualifications – Food Safety & Restaurant hospitality I achieved and supported me in building a great CV as I thought I could get some paid employment within hospitality & waitering an area I felt that with my autism would help me push to improve on my social skills whilst gaining valuable experience.

Invest organised for me to complete a work placement opportunity within a local Restaurant there I gained valuable skills and experience of work and the hospitality industry it wasn’t much, but it was a start a start that led to me being offered part time employment! – unfortunately due to covid I was unable to start this post but hopeful for the future in securing part time employment when we are in recovery from the virus and support me while studying in the future.

Where was your placement and what was it like?

My placement was in a local Italian Restaurant.   The placement opportunity I was supported fully  my advisor even doing a “dummy run with me” on public transport to ensure that I knew where I was going.  Invest staff came to support me at my initial employer meeting to help me settle in.  I found this placement to be a rewarding experience, and an important step in my personal development.

I subsequently looked with the support of my advisor at potential college courses giving me more options for my future, I also have a real passion for Motorcycles and was advised of a course within West College Greenock Campus in Motor Cycle Maintenance, I felt this course would be Ideal as I have a motorcycle of my own and another career path of interest to me was Motorcycle mechanic. Support from Invest proved helpful, and provided opportunities, which have helped me get to where I am now.  The first step in the road to me finding my dream opportunity was helping me to identify appropriate opportunities of both work and further education and I start my full-time college course in Sept.

In terms of any advice for other young people, I would advise that all young people should make use of any support that is available from Invest.  More positively, I would advise anyone starting out in their future after school that you should try and find employment or learning in an environment and subject that you find interesting, rewarding and fulfilling, as you will never thrive and be successful in any job that you don’t enjoy that is my hope for the future.