0.00.03 My name’s Mohammed V. I’m the employment and training manager for Birmingham Disability Resource Centre. We manage information advice and guidance projects to support disabled people to get back into employment, training and voluntary work. We’re funded by Birmingham City Council and the Learning Skills Council, so currently we’ve got a number of projects specifically to support disabled people to get back into employment.
00.00.27 When I was at school myself my parents came from Pakistan. They weren’t really, I could really get support but when I came home with the homework although my dad arrived in this country in the early 60s, he worked mainly in factories so wasn’t aware of the educational system in this country and I really did not get any support with my homework or advice and what careers I could follow.
00.00.58 There were obviously one or two teachers, chemistry teacher did give me some advice but overall I feel there wasn’t really that much advice available. I did have my interviews with career advisors whilst I was at school but did not find that beneficial at all. I left school in ’88 with a few GCSEs and I decided to continue in further education. Went out to do A levels. I was particularly keen on chemistry so that was one of the A-Levels that I studied together with some other sciences.
00.01.36 After I did my A levels I then went out to university to do a degree in chemistry. I graduated in ’96. I found it was quite difficult to actually get a job within the sciences field with very little experience. So then after a few months of securing employment within the chemistry field I decided that I’ll apply for any jobs. And I started doing a bit of temporary in retail and in 1997 I started employment with Islamic Relief as a fundraiser.
00.02.12 I was there for just over a year and I helped Islamic Relief raise over £300,000 during that period. The job itself was quite demanding. I was practically working 7 days a week. I felt I needed a change so after that, I got myself a job within the Employment Resource Centre as an employment officer and that was the beginning of my journey of employment within careers advice and guidance.
00.02.43 This job enables myself to support others and to make a difference in their lives. I’ve met many people that I’ve supporting during this 10 year period who have come up to me and shook my hand and thanked me for the support that I provided and I feel that I have generally assisted other people in getting into professional fields. And I feel quite privileged to have been given the honour to have made a difference in people’s lives.
00.03.14 Sometimes some of the clients that I worked with they have acted as inspiration for me as well, because I’ve supported clients and they have gone on and I’ve seen them afterwards to achieve great things. And that itself has given me confidence for me to start looking at studying again and gaining additional qualifications.