10 August 2022
Interview with Oscar – his work experience at A2i as an adult with learning disabilities
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Work experience at A2i
A2i works in partnership with our local branch of Mencap, the UK’s leading learning disability charity, to help adults with learning disabilities to gain meaningful work experience at A2i. Our latest work experience trainee was called Oscar.
Oscar’s initial thoughts
Oscar was 21 years old and his previous work experience was in retail and in healthcare settings.
The partnership between A2i and Mencap provided an opportunity for Oscar to secure work experience in our company and try office and computer-based work for the first time.
Prior to coming in for his first day, he thought that just like the popular BBC TV show, ‘The Office‘, “office work is depressing and a joke.” But read to the end of this article to check if his preconceptions changed!
Oscar’s role at A2i
Oscar worked with us for 1 day a week for 6 weeks, with a Mencap mentor for support.
He was mainly involved in computer-based work to help with the early stages of document preparation for Braille and Large Print. This varied role involved editing and preparing different types of document, ready for a qualified transcriber to complete the next steps. For example, Oscar had to make sure all text was in the correct order, with the correct layout and emphasis, and highlight any potentially problematic sections such as tables or page references.
He listened carefully in training and impressed us with his enthusiasm and attention to detail. He integrated well into the team, and also joined in with team meetings and social events.
At the start of his placement Oscar found “spending a long time in front of a computer screen challenging.”
His work day was adjusted to give him breaks from the screen when needed, and as A2i is in “a quiet area of Bristol by a park” he went for a walk around the park if he wanted to stretch his legs and get some fresh air.
All kinds of help were offered not just from his mentor but the whole A2i team to show him that we are a safe space for open ideas, and everyone is treated equally.
Oscar was able to use his placement with A2i to figure out what his preferences are in terms of tasks and in the workplace.
Oscar’s final thoughts
“This is a nice place to come to … My colleagues have been very kind and supportive. There’s flexibility over when I can take breaks.”
“My time at A2i has proven me wrong.”
Oscar would love to come back to join A2i’s team in the future once vacancies are available. During his time with us, he was able to learn new skills that he can highlight on his CV which other employers may be interested in. Additionally, he has made new connections in the industry that may potentially help others find him.
According to the Prospects early careers survey 2021, 76% of university students and 73% sixth form/college students found that their work experience was useful in developing their skills. Oscar is now taking on his new skills and applying them elsewhere.
For more information about A2i, or a quote, just get in touch with A2i’s friendly team at