Craig allen – ERA member – case study

Craig Allen Portait Photograph
"ERA are a great resource if you find yourself in need of help with an employment situation, the team are linked to all different businesses throughout the county and have a great connection with various industries."

As with a lot of people this year I found myself in a situation where I was not able to work due to the global pandemic. My pre-pandemic role was based on cruise ships and therefore found myself in a position of being back in the area after many years and looking for a new role. I heard about ERA from my work coach at the time who forwarded me the advert for the Covid Support team which ERA were recruiting for on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council. I registered with the agency after securing one of the roles with the Covid team and as the contract was temporary it was useful to have an established connection with ERA for the future once the contract came to an end.

What have you done through ERA and ZLTO social action jobs? E.g. training, work trials, employment, social action community jobs?

After securing the role in the Covid Support Team the initial part of our training was a basic first aid training course, followed by an induction with the council. The role itself involved being based within the council boroughs as a support network for all businesses whether that be big or small, chains or independent. The role involved a manner of tasks to check that businesses were Covid secure and safe for their customers and clients. The role heavily relied on building relationships in order to offer help and advice on the ever-changing situation. Team work and communication were an essential part of the role, being able to feedback to our supervisors and to work with other members of the team.

What has changed for you since then?

Since starting in the Covid Support Team I was offered two opportunities to apply for progression. The first was to take on additional responsibility as a Covid Support Officer and the second was for the role of Covid Support Team Supervisor a role which was directly with the council. After interviewing for both roles I was successful and appointed the new Covid Support Supervisor securing a temporary contract with North East Lincolnshire Council. The new role entails managing the team I had previously been a part of, consisting of fourteen team members along with another supervisor. Other duties involve liaising with other departments of the council in regards to Covid restrictions, gathering information and relevant knowledge to equip our team with, dealing with public complaints in relation to a manner of issues, working with local businesses to ensure Covid security and offering help and clarity with applicable legislation. This opportunity has been a great way to take my existing experience and apply to it a new field.

How has this and the staff at ERA, helped you develop?

ERA first of all gave me the opportunity to be able to become a part of the Covid Support team which is where the opportunities stemmed from. The team at ERA offer support while you are placed in your position with regular check ins to see how you are getting on. ERA also are very open and make you feel very comfortable with an open line of communication if you need any help or advice. My background had always been very retail based and ERA opened up a sector to me which I hadn’t considered before and that with my previous skills meant that they were transferable to not only the initial role but also my new position.

What would you say to a friend about how ERA can help them?
ERA are a great resource if you find yourself in need of help with an employment situation, the team are linked to all different businesses throughout the county and have a great connection with various industries. ERA also opens different opportunities to roles and sectors which you may not have considered before and have a vast training resource. ERA also allows you to develop your skill set and helps transfer these over to other sectors.