“I would like to say a massive thank you to Step Forward Tees Valley, and especially Lisa who offered me kindness and support”

Stephen's Story

My name is Stephen, and I am a trained engineer living in Hartlepool. In 2015 I lost my job in Kazakhstan due to oil prices and limited opportunities.

I remained positive and continued to apply for suitable roles, and in December 2016 I secured a work contract with the defense industry. I completed the security checks and signed the official secrets act, but months went by and I didn’t hear anything.

To keep myself busy and avoid falling into depression I started a non-profit community group. It was through this group I met a counselor, who suggested I talk to Step Forward Tees Valley.

After calling Step Forward Tees Valley I met with a navigator called Lisa. We made a plan and started to tackle the obstacles I was facing together. Over the next 8 months, Lisa helped me find short courses to develop my skills and improve my confidence, she also helped me with universal credit and making links with potential employers.

After over a year of not hearing anything, I was contacted out of the blue by the defense industry who carried out a 5 hour security interview. Following the interview I was offered an engineering role and I am due to start employment this month.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Step Forward Tees Valley, and especially Lisa who offered me kindness and support.

FUNDED BY THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND AND THE NATIONAL LOTTERY COMMUNITY FUND