Could your skills help a young blind person get their first job?

People smiling at the camera at the RLSB weekend residential

We recently launched a voluntary role for vision impaired people in work to mentor blind young job seekers on our employability programme.
Daniel is one of our first mentors, and in this short blog, he shares why he began to mentor, what mentoring involves, and how it helps blind young people gain the key skills they need to get a job.

‘I was looking to volunteer’

I work as a management consultant and I was looking to volunteer in my spare time. Because of my vision impairment I started looking for roles with charities working with vision impaired people. I came across RSBC and found the volunteer mentor role on their website. I felt that I really fitted what they were looking for because I could offer insights into how I applied for work, what adjustments I’d need to work and how I disclosed my vision impairment.
I was offered the role and it wasn’t long before I was assigned one young person who had a similar career interest to me. I first sent him a couple of emails to understand how I could help him prepare for getting work. After that we organised a couple of phone calls and he told me he had an interview coming up.
The job he was going for was incredibly important for my mentee as it would be his first job after graduating from University. It was important that he starts at an organisation that provides the right training and opportunities for him to develop.

How did I help?

My role was to give him advice on things from interview practice, and how to come across to potential employers. He forwarded me the details of the job and I came up with some questions I thought he was likely to be asked at the interview.
Although my mentee naturally felt nervous before the interview, he told me it definitely helped doing a mock interview with me. After practising, he knew which areas he was strong in and which areas he needed to improve.
The assessment day included a competency interview, a technical interview, an exercise and psychometric training. He passed them all with flying colours as he was offered the job!

What do I get out of being a mentor?

The benefit for me having joined as an Employability Mentor is that I get to give back and help others. I get to show young people that their vision impairment doesn’t have to hold them back. I’m helping them increase their chances of succeeding in getting their dream jobs and it feels fantastic.

Can you help blind young people find a job?

We are still looking for more Employability mentors to support blind young members of our Employability programme. Follow in Daniel’s footsteps and boost your CV with some volunteering experience. Also do your bit by passing on your knowledge to help blind job seekers get their dream job!
If you are interested in becoming an employability mentor email volunteers@rsbc.org.uk or call 020 3198 0225.

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