Meet the Learners

Learner journey success story


One of the great pleasures of delivering vocational courses to residents in Islington is when someone starts and ends a journey in the space of just a few months. That is exactly what happened to Louise when by chance she picked up a leaflet advertising the Adult and Community Learning enrolment days last April. At the time Louise had been out of work for almost 6 months but she didn’t want to waste any time getting back into a job. As Louise says:

I wanted to change direction in career and I wanted some computer skills. So, I came along to see what you had to offer.

She was given a short assessment activity to see what level of skill she already had on computers and one of the team suggested two courses – one an Introduction to Administration and the other an IT Skills for the Office course. Louise decided to do both!

I found the admin course to be excellent, it gave me a lot of skills and it was really helpful for me to work as part of a team. I enjoyed meeting other people, learning from them and engaging with them.

I was Louise’s tutor on the course and I agree that everyone on her course learnt from each other because everyone had something to offer. And because they were all adults, they had lots of life and work experiences to remember and to share; sometimes people forget just how much they have experienced and how much they already know.

We also try and make courses as relevant as possible to the specific needs of those taking part. For that reason we encourage participants to talk about the work they want to do, bring in copies of adverts for jobs they like the look of and to start applying for them while on the course. There’s lots of support we can offer across our Learning, Skills and Employment team, including advice on apprenticeships. A lot of people still have this idea that apprenticeships are only for school leavers, but modern apprenticeships are open to all ages, as Louise discovered:

Toward the end of the course I applied for an apprenticeship with the council and I was successful!

We were able to give Louise lots of advice on how to prepare for her interview so that by the time it came along she was feeling much more confident. Now she can’t wait to start work.

I am really looking forward to getting back into work, into a routine and learning new things

The introduction to admin course is just one of several vocational courses that we offer, including an Introduction to Adult Social Care, Customer Service in Hospitality and Catering and a Level 1 Basic Food Hygiene course. We also have two course designed to Boost Your Confidence and another to Boost Your Interview Skills and that’s before we even mention all the computer skills course we have. You can even brush up on your maths and English if you want to!

Louise starts her apprenticeship in October. I’ll leave her with the last word:

If you’re considering doing a course I would say 100% to go for it because you will gain new skills, meet new people and build your confidence. It really helped me with that. And if you’ve been out of work for a while it gives you a sense of purpose, which is really good. Go for it!

Case study written by Lead Tutor Colin Gardiner.


"I now know how to job search with confidence and I feel more confident applying for jobs online"

"I have gained more understanding of maths and I have been able to brush up on my skills from past years"