However, this was not always the career path he imagined for himself. From the age of 18 Paul worked in engineering and heavy industry – a job that he loved, with lots of friends and a good income. But in his early 30s, everything changed for Paul.
A workplace accident resulted in damage to his back and legs. In a dramatic twist of fate, whilst treating him for his accident, doctors found a cancerous tumour on Paul’s kidney.
Luckily, they were able to take the kidney out, but he was told that he would never be able to return to his job as an engineer.
After a couple of years recovering, Paul was ready to return to work. At the time, he found little support and had to use his own initiative to re-train and gain experience by volunteering.
The hard work paid off and over the years, Paul has worked for Neath Port Talbot Council and Shaw Trust supporting disabled and disadvantaged people in Wales.
In 2016, he joined the PRIME Cymru team, helping people to find employment, set up a business or discover volunteering and training opportunities.
Paul thrives in this role, as he uses his personal experience overcoming barriers to help others in similar situations.
Paul said: “I’ve tried many different paths, and many didn’t work, so I know which ones do work!
“You’ve got to really want it – we’re not miracle workers but we do our best and if a person really wants our help, then we can help them move forward. The guidance we give our clients is like a life skill. Once they’ve learnt those skills then they will have them forever.”
If you want to find a job or set up your own business, but feel like something is holding you back, we can help you overcome these barriers.