Meet the team - Jim
Jim McEvoy, Employability Skills Tutor
Completing a boat building apprenticeship in Girvan, working on a building site in London and the South East then studying Politics, Philosophy and Psychology with the Open University – just a few of the highlights of Jim’s varied life but, by his own admission, it’s been pretty chaotic too.
“When I was in London I partied too hard and my life started to spiral out of control. The recession hit and I headed to Aberdeen looking for work but my lifestyle didn’t calm down. My relationship suffered and I ended up what I call ‘sofa-surfing’ with no real home of my own.”
Eventually Jim turned to the Cyrenians for help and that was the start of his road to recovery. He did some peer mentoring and behavioural change training with the local authority which resulted in work as a welder. To make ends meet he also got a job as a security guard while studying for an HND in Architectural Technology.
Meanwhile, Jim’s long-term interest in youth work (he previously ran a boys’ boxing club) led him to realise that he enjoyed mentoring and helping others – and he was told he was good at it. He found a work placement with the then Angus College in Arbroath which became a full-time job. He’s now been an Employability Skills Tutor with D&A College for 16 years and in that time he’s achieved his Teaching Qualification in Further Education and Assessor’s Award.
“I love the variety of people I come across and being part of a team that helps them build their capacity to improve themselves. I have witnessed many success stories over the years including one man in his late-fifties who was an alcoholic, embezzled money and lost his job as a banker. We started working on his behavioural changes and he managed to get a work placement. Now 10 years later he’s still in work and is in charge of a financial department. It’s all about supporting people and getting them to take responsibility for themselves.”