A SINGLE mum who was out of work for more than two years is back doing what she loves best – thanks to The Star’s We Want to Work campaign.
Bosses at Reach Education, an agency which provides staff to schools across Sheffield and Rotherham, were impressed when they read about Joanne’s skills, experience and desire to return to full-time employment.
Joanne, of Handsworth clocked up 24 years’ experience as an administrative working in the offices of Abbeydale Grange school in Millhouses before she was made redundant.
The mother-of-two’s search for jobs in administrative roles proved fruitless until she told her story in The Star’s campaign.
Days after the 46-year-old appeared in the paper, she was interviewed by co-directors Samantha Marsden and Rachel Bracha – and hired shortly after.
Working for the company means Joanne will be sent out to schools in South Yorkshire which need experienced staff to cover temporary posts.
She has just begun working at a special school in Sheffield, where she will be stationed until the summer.
Joanne said: “It all happened so quick, but I am enjoying it so far. When they told me I had the job I was overwhelmed and delighted.
“It’s so nice having my foot back in the door and having a routine again, I’m getting used to getting up at 6am.
“It’s more or less the same work as I did, but they’re training me to work on reception which I didn’t do before, so I’m looking forward to that.”
This is the first success for We Want to Work, which gives unemployed people in Sheffield the chance to pitch themselves to employers.
It is hoped more businesses will now follow Reach’s lead and give the candidates the chance to prove themselves.
Samantha said: “We have a good reputation for providing schools with high-quality staff.
“They come to us when they have a vacancy because they know our people are reliable.
“Our remit tends to be classroom assistants, but we also deal with schools which have administrative posts.
“We’re always on the lookout for people, saw the article on Joanne and knew she was exactly the type of person we were after.
“Joanne worked in a school for 24 years. You can’t buy that sort of experience.”