New course gives fresh hope to unemployed

A MONTHLY course at Weston College has given more than 100 unemployed people - some who felt they were too old to get another job - the skills they need to find employment.

Government-backed course Aspire is a two-week programme examining a variety of ways to improve people’s chances of getting a job and covers mind-mapping, creating and updating a CV and interview skills.

The course has helped many students to take on apprenticeships and full-time work in the recycling, construction, food and beauty industries.

One of them, David Manfield, aged 48, of Worle, was a warehouse manager for Asda before he was made redundant. He attended the course and having previously volunteered in a primary school, was interested in becoming a learning support assistant (LSA).

He is now a full-time LSA at Weston College, helping young people and adults with learning difficulties.

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He said: “I’d applied for other warehouse manager jobs but I was knocked back and I knew it was because they thought I was too old. The course taught me to think out of the box and consider what else I might be good at. I’m now full-time and really enjoying my job.”

At the age of 62, unemployed construction site manager Malcolm Lewis, of Banwell, thought he might be too old to get another job.

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During the course he applied for a job as a site manager for a new air ambulance station in Exeter. He was successful, and started within a week of finishing the course.

He said: “There was a lot that was familiar to me, given my years of experience, but there is always something new to learn and I found it particularly helpful when it came to preparing for interviews.”

The programme will be running until July and the next course will start on January 16. For more information contact the college’s business enterprise centre on 01934 411594.

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