Pair take first steps into jobs thanks to skills and training

An appetite for success: (left to right) Remploys Rebecca Shaw, Darrel Hague, Remploys Charlie Denham, Hannah Parker and McDonalds Jill Hulett.
An appetite for success: (left to right) Remploys Rebecca Shaw, Darrel Hague, Remploys Charlie Denham, Hannah Parker and McDonalds Jill Hulett.
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The lives of two people from Sheffield have just taken a turn for the better, thanks to a jobs scheme between disability employment specialists Remploy and McDonald’s.

The lives of two people from Sheffield have just taken a turn for the better, thanks to a jobs scheme between disability employment specialists Remploy and McDonald’s.

And their success could lead the way for disabled people who want to work for the fast food chain throughout the UK.

Darrel Hague, aged 20 and from Longley, has autism, a hearing impairment and a learning disability.

His new job at McDonald’s on Penistone Road in Hillsborough is his first. Since leaving school he has faced many barriers to employment which he found impossible to overcome alone.

“It’s not been for the want of trying,” said Darrel. “As time went by, my lack of experience became my biggest obstacle, but what could I do? Nobody would give me a chance and I had nothing to show for the years I had spent endlessly filling in application forms and being rejected.”

Referred to Remploy for specialist support by Jobcentre Plus, Darrel was immediately picked out as a great candidate to sign up for the jobs partnership between Remploy and McDonald’s.

He passed all the assessments with flying colours and was fast-tracked through a programme of employability skills including how to perform in interviews, CV-writing and building confidence.

He also learnt many of the skills needed to work in a busy restaurant such as customer service, preparing food and keeping everything clean and well-stocked. With a keen eye for detail, he was then given a placement with the company and a job offer soon followed – which he had no hesitation in accepting.

“I have always wanted to work and earn my own wage,” Darrel said. “I’ve now made new friends, learnt a lot, and I go home happy each day.”

Hannah Parker, aged 24 from Fulwood, has just started a job at the restaurant, following an intensive employment preparation with Remploy. Hannah has a learning disability, dyslexia and dyspraxia, which affects her coordination.

“Being independent is really important to me,” she said. “Like Darrel I found it impossible to convince employers to give me a job but I am now proving to everybody, including myself, that I can do it by working at McDonald’s. I now have a future ahead of me and coming to work is the best feeling in the world!”

Jill Hulett is an operations consultant for McDonald’s.

She said: “We were determined to succeed with our jobs programme for people with disabilities and so, alongside Remploy, have invested a lot of time in shaping it. Our commitment to employing a diverse range of people is very strong as we serve a diverse range of customers.

“The success of Darrel and Hannah has given us confidence to continually refine our disability employment programme and offer more jobs to more people. McDonald’s is an equal opportunities employer and this is yet another way in which we can deliver what we promise.”

Remploy account manager Rebecca Shaw developed the scheme with colleague Charlie Denham.

She said: “We’re delighted at the success of our two jobseekers.

“Working very closely with our colleagues at McDonald’s, we understand what they look for in their employees and so are able to propose people, like Darrel and Hannah, who really want to be successful but have just not had the opportunities in life. They are now demonstrating what a great fit they are and we wish them, and all those who follow, every success.”

Get Involved

The #DisabilityWorks campaign aims to show the benefits of employing disabled talent.

For tailored recruitment support, go to:

Opportunity Sheffield - Disability Works

Or call 0114 2760039.

It is in association with Sheffield City Council and the DWP