Cosmin, technician in an authorized protected unit

Cosmin is a 28-year-old young man from Constanța, diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago. Despite his illness, Cosmin managed to graduate from the Faculty of Engineering in the aforementioned city and to complete a master’s degree in the same field.

After finishing his studies, Cosmin has tried to get a job. He went to interviews, but without success, so his psychiatrist recommended him to contact the HAO team.

Olivia, labour market expert, created the vocational profile of Cosmin. She observed that the young man is quiet, suspicious, lacking in self-confidence and motivation, and he has a quite rigid thinking.

Our colleague noted that Cosmin wanted to work, preferably in a technical field, so Olivia began the process of identifying a job according to the training and interests of the young man. She recommended him to the administrator of an authorized protected unit. After the interview, Cosmin was hired as a technician. “At that time, Cosmin did not have a disability certificate, and this document was needed in order to be hired, because the employer was an authorized protected unit. It was very difficult for me to get both him and the family to agree to obtain it. This process took 6 months, but I succeeded!”, says Olivia.

Now, Cosmin assembles computers and he gets involved in other activities, at the request of the coordinator. His integration’s process was quite difficult, but our colleague did not give up.

In order to monitor his progress, Olivia has collaborated with Cosmin’s mother, because she is the only person with whom the young man is willing to discuss sensitive issues. “Fortunately, Ms. T. understood the importance of teamwork, and she was willing to consider my suggestions,” explains Olivia.

Things were not simple in the relationship with the administrator of the unit either. He has experience in working with people with disabilities, but he is quite unwilling to collaborate with the HAO team in implementing the Supported Employment model. “He want to continue to employ people with disabilities, but it is still difficult for him to understand the advantages of the employment process implemented by HAO. However, I believe that things will change, as time went on”, says Olivia.

Olivia continues to work with Cosmin in order to develop his confidence and ability to socialize and integrate into a group, during individually counseling sessions, and personal development workshops, facilitated by her within LEAD project.

The project “Labour market Employment for young Adults with a Disability – LEAD” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.



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