Skills course finds work for the unemployed

A MONTHLY course at Weston College aimed at giving unemployed people the skills they need to find a job is finding nearly half its learners work or training.

The Aspire course was launched at the college in August and has helped 45.45 per cent of learners.

The two-week long programme focuses on basic employability skills and is tailored to what jobs are available in the area, including skills for hospitality, construction, IT, sales, hair and beauty, adult and child care and customer services.

David Manfield, aged 48, of Worle, attended the Aspire course after he was made redundant as a warehouse manager for Asda.

Having previously volunteered in a primary school, he 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 applied for other warehouse manager jobs but was knocked back and 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.”

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Weston College’s Aspire course coordinator Sue Estcourt said: “So far 221 learners have completed the programme.

“We look at a variety of ways people can become more employable, including how they portray themselves to prospective employers, behaviour expected in the workplace, creating and updating a CV and helping recognise transferable skills.

“It is fantastic to see people’s confidence and self-esteem increase tremendously.”

The Aspire course is fully funded if you are either 16-18 years old, in receipt of job seekers allowance or receiving employment support allowance.

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