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Joao is a 32 year old man from Portugal.  Joao was found rough sleeping in Westminster by our Outreach team in November 2013 and at their suggestion he began using our Resource Centre the following day.

Joao explained that though originally from Portugal, he had been living in the USA for 10 years.  Having lost his job, he found himself excluded from American welfare and returned to Europe.  Staying initially in a B and B, Joao quickly ran out of money and was forced onto the street.  Joao was keen to work either in Construction, Catering or Office work.

To begin with, we helped Joao apply for benefits in order to stabilise his situation.  He then began to write a new CV, applied for a British bank account and study for his CSCS card.  Throughout this period Marco diligently looked for work and attended coaching sessions regularly both with ourselves and the Jobcentre Plus outreach service which is based in our centre 4 days a week.

Despite our best efforts Joao wasn’t getting beyond the interview stage due to his recent lack of construction experience and no experience within Britain.

Through The Passage’s partnership with Land Securities, an opportunity came up.  Joao was initially sceptical about it because it didn’t lead to paid employment straight away.  After talking it through, he decided it would be a worthwhile experience that might get him over the last hurdle of not have a relevant recent construction track record.

Thanks to the course and Land Securities’ support, Joao has now got a job in construction and is even about to gain a further set of skills around brick laying.