Gavin started his journey into employment with Edinburgh Project SEARCH, gaining valuable work experience and training qualifications with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government. He’s has now secured a job with The Wee Book Company thanks to Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentives and is channelling his passion for writing as a Publishing Assistant.
Gavin Keddie joined the Edinburgh Project SEARCH (EPS) programme in 2016 having attended college when he left school. Gavin was keen to move into employment but had no work experience and knew that, due to his autism, he would require support to get this. As part of the EPS programme Gavin completed a 10-week work experience placement within the City of Edinburgh Council as a Licensing Assistant and two 10-week placements within the Scottish Government as a Business Assistant. Gavin learned many transferrable skills within these roles and gained the confidence, skills and experience required to secure employment. Upon successfully completing the programme, Gavin secured a Business and Administration Modern Apprenticeship within the City of Edinburgh Council.
Gavin worked within the Business Support team and spent two years working towards his qualification and building upon his skills and knowledge. He successfully completed the apprenticeship but was unable to secure permanent employment within the organisation due to recruitment freezes. That did not deter Gavin and he managed to obtain agency work, being placed within the Business Gateway team. While working in these roles Gavin used his free time to become a published author, writing the first in a series of fictional novels. When the agency role came to an end, Gavin continued to look for work while working on his sequels. It was through his writing work that he came to the attention of The Wee Book Company.
The Wee Book Company is a publishing business in the city, and they saw Gavin’s potential, not just as an author but as an employee. As a new business they were not in the position to employ Gavin until they became aware of Edinburgh’s Employer Recruitment Incentives. As part of the Edinburgh Guarantee offer, employers who recruit someone with barriers to employment can secure up to £6,000 to help with the costs. With the funding available to them they have been able to create a Publishing Assistant post for Gavin which he started in March 2021. Andrew from the Wee Book Company has said ‘Gavin is doing so well in the role, he is learning quickly and developing every day. We had this great employee right under our nose and we really wanted to give him the opportunity to use his skills, EERI has given us the chance to do this for Gavin and grow our business.’
With the funding available to The Wee Book Company them they have been able to create a Publishing Assistant post for Gavin which he started in March 2021.