College leaver Rhys lands job with FTSE 100 firm

College leaver Rhys lands job with FTSE 100 firm

A young high flier has proven disability need not be a barrier in the financial world by landing a job with a leading FTSE 100 company.

And it all started with a casual conversation about the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

Rhys Joyce is a student at National Star College in Cheltenham.

Last year he met Jonathan McMahon, Joint Chief Operating Officer of St. James’s Place Wealth Management during a function at the college.

‘We talked about the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and I explained that I had completed my Silver Award. Mr McMahon suggested I shadow him for a day at work, which I was honoured to do,’ said Rhys.

The 19-year-old who is originally from Bridgend, Wales, has Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy which affects his mobility and he uses a power wheelchair. This week  (Thursday 19 July) he completed his three-year BTEC Level 2 Sport programme.

Rhys decided to approach St. James’s Place about opportunities with the company and, following an online interview and two face-to-face interviews, he was accepted on a one-year contract at their head office, which will start in September.

‘I couldn’t believe it when they told me. It has been a big inspiration of mine to be like everyone else and to have a job so that I didn’t have to take money off the state,’ said Rhys.

St. James’s Place has been working with National Star College and Rhys to ensure that the company’s office in Cirencester is accessible, and he is provided with the right equipment to help him in the role, including an electronic moving desk.

Jonathan McMahon, Joint Chief Operating Officer, St. James’s Place, said, ‘We’ve worked closely with Rhys to ensure the role suits him and his talents, and that he has all the support he needs to do a great job. We’re looking forward to welcoming Rhys on his first day in the office and know he will make a valuable contribution to the company.’

St. James’s Place has been a strong corporate supporter of national charity National Star.

‘For a number of years now, the team at St. James’s Place, and myself personally, have witnessed the incredible achievements of the young people at National Star,’ continued Mr McMahon. ‘The charity is passionate about enabling young people with disabilities to realise their aspirations, and this is something we fully endorse.’

‘I’ve been fortunate that St. James’s Place has seen the person and not the wheelchair,’ said Rhys. ‘It’s a great opportunity and I am grabbing it with both hands.’

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