Catherine had an aspiration to work in retail but did not have any work experience and lacked the confidence to find a job. She had been unemployed since leaving school to raise her family. At the age of 37, she was in a position to start looking for work and was referred to Triage by her local Jobcentre Plus office. Triage had recently carried out a training needs analysis with local retail employers and created an employer-led training opportunity with guaranteed interviews for learners who had taken part.
Catherine attended a session with our engagement team where she completed an initial assessment and pre-screen. During this meeting our engagement team held an information, advice and guidance (IAG) session to ensure that a course in retail was the right option for her based on her goals and employment aspirations. Catherine was excited to start the upcoming retail course.
She began her retail training on September 9, 2020, and completed it on September 24. Working closely with the business development team we were able to help Catherine with interview preparation. Her confidence grew dramatically and she was motivated and excited to succeed at interview. Despite having no previous retail experience, Catherine was confident that the knowledge gained throughout the course would boost her chances of a successful interview. The course also helped to reinforce Catherine's decision that a job in retail was the right move for her.
Catherine completed the Level 1 Certificate in Retail Knowledge and Level 1 Award in Customer Service which encompassed the following units:
Catherine had multiple IAG sessions with her tutor, in which the goals she set during her initial assessment were reviewed and we evaluated her progress. After passing the course, Catherine had an interview with Poundland and was offered a job, initially on a temporary contract, in Middlesbrough. The feedback she received was that she was well prepared and although she had no experience she was able to demonstrate examples of working in a retail environment.
Catherine says: "I have been unemployed since leaving school as I’ve been bringing my kids up. The Jobcentre referred me to Triage as my barriers were my self-doubt and confidence. I truly believe that Nigel and Triage went the extra mile for me; they treated me with respect and always told me to believe in myself. I have a job at the Poundland on Skipper’s Lane; I will be replenishing stock, working on the shop floor and tills.
"My long-term goals are to stay at the position I have got and get training to hopefully move up to be assistant manager in the future. I am really pleased that I have been referred to Triage as I have been on Jobseeker's for years, and I believe with Nigel and everyone else at Triage I gained the confidence to take the step and get my position at Poundland."
During Catherine’s training, she completed our 'This is Me' document which we use to monitor learning and skills. This is completed on day one and at the end of training. Catherine’s biggest goal was to improve her confidence. The 'This is Me' document completed on the first day showed an initial score of 469 in total with confidence being 57. The last results were 506 with confidence increasing to 70.
Well done Catherine!