Cherelle worked in our Skills and Employment team in Camberwell as a Keyworker on the Pathways to Employment Project which helped people overcome barriers to progress towards employment. Here she explains her work with K who was keen to find a job after years of caring for his children following the death of his wife.
"K joined Pathways to Employment whilst attending a part time ESOL course at Lewisham Southwark College. His only form of work experience was 15 years ago on a farm in Sri Lanka. Since being in the UK he had been a full time carer for his children after his wife sadly passed away. Now they were older, K wanted to find a job. With limited qualifications, he found it a struggle which resulted in him being referred by the job centre to us.
K joined the project and quickly became excited about seeking employment. We began by registering him with Learn My Way, interactive bite-sized e-learning modules aimed at increasing his IT skills, with the ultimate goal of enabling him to access his emails and apply for jobs.
After a few months K became confident on the computer. A fluent Tamil speaker, the time had come to begin job searching but with no relevant work experience within the last 10 years it proved difficult to find him employment. However, I did my research and came across a Tamil speaking community centre who were able to pass his CV on to various employers within the Tamil community.
Whilst K waited for someone to get back to him about his CV, he attended various in-house employability workshops including Interviews Skills and Confidence and Motivation.
One day I noticed that K missed his appointment and didn’t alert me that he wouldn’t be coming in. This was out of the ordinary for K as he was always good at communicating if he couldn’t attend his sessions. The following day I got a call from our reception to say there was a person making a lot of noise. I went up to find K beaming with happiness and shouting about his news. He explained that he had been offered a job and the reason he missed our appointment the day before was because he had attended the interview. K was overjoyed and further explained that he was going to be working for a Tamil speaking company based near his home.
K showed his excitement and appreciation; he really thanked me and the other staff for all our hard work and patience and highlighted that without our help he would have never have had the confidence he has today."