Flying high thanks to Tameside Council's Route to Work Service

Business News
John Roff is flying high in his job thanks to support from Tameside Council’s Routes to Work service.
The 31-year-old, who has learning disabilities, works for SSP Group at The Grain Loft in Manchester Airport and has won the 'Team Member of the Year' award thanks to his hard work and commitment.
Before starting this role, John worked at the Remploy factory until 2011 but after being made redundant he found it difficult to get back into paid work. In order to keep his skills up to date, he volunteered for Tameside Council in Stamford Park while looking for further work.
His partner, Rumbi Zindoga, 25, also has a learning disability and is supported by the Routes to Work team. She encouraged John to apply to work for SSP after successfully securing a position with the company herself this year.
Around 6% of people who have a learning disability are in paid employment despite more than 60% wanting to be and being able to work.
Tameside’s Routes to Work Service liaises with employers about the benefits of employing someone with a disability and the contribution they can make to the workplace.
Routes to Work supports people with disabilities (including learning disability) to get into work by providing personalised support to clients. Employment officers can advise on all aspects of gaining employment including volunteering, training and education to lead to independent working.
This service provides a variety of support including help writing a CV, practice interview skills, accompanying candidates to interview and guiding individuals through the recruitment process.
Rebecca Ponsford, general manager at The Grain Loft, said: “Rumbi and John both joined our team here at Manchester Airport's the Grain Loft and, throughout the past 12 months, they've become valued team members. They have never allowed any of their development needs get in the way of them completing their work. They have become important additions to our team, demonstrating a can do attitude and work ethic which we celebrate within SSP.”
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, said: “Thanks to the great work of the Routes to Work scheme so many of our residents in Tameside are supported into employment. We’re supporting all people with valuable skills to get back into work and ensure they get full access to education and further training”.
To find out about the scheme please call 0161 342 5200 and ask for Lorraine Pattison or visit

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