Ben* was economically inactive and needed some career advice. He had recently ceased trading as a self-employed digital artist and had heard about Inspira in the news.

Walking into the Workington Inspira Centre, Ben* was keen to talk to an adviser to understand his options and how he could move into full-time employment. Ben* felt several barriers were holding him back, including a lack of work experience, his confidence around transferable skills, and how to present them to potential employers. The most significant barrier Ben* felt he faced, though, was his autism. Ben* believed there was not enough workplace education about the condition.

Ben* was keen to pursue his passion for the arts, and he could see a career in retail was a potential too. To help Ben*, Rob, an adviser with Inspira, began a series of one-to-one guidance and support sessions, focusing on job search and producing quality applications. Rob and Ben* spent time action planning and identifying the transferrable skills that Ben* had in retail, specifically customer service and public relations. From there, they began a series of interview preparation sessions, covering personal presentation, competency-based questions, and body language, followed by some mock interviews and feedback sessions.

Ben* was able to use the bespoke, tailored training and support to successfully secure employment at the Theatre by the Lake. This not only allowed him to develop his communication and social skills but also to continue working in the arts sector which he deeply appreciated.

Ben* appreciated the friendly and approachable atmosphere of Inspira, as he felt that he was able to speak to the adviser 'like a mate,' which helped him feel at ease. This personal touch allowed Ben* to feel comfortable and grow in confidence, being able to discuss anything at all without being judged.

Ben* feels that he has moved forward positively and grown more confident in his abilities and is hopeful of remaining in employment for the foreseeable future.

*Name changed for anonymity