A week in the life…
Alison Moore has been a Vocational and Employability Skills Tutor working with Islington Adult and Community Learning (ACL) for just over two years, and has worked as an employment trainer and adviser for over 25 years. Alison takes us through a typical week in her job, and shares some of her highlights.
We hope you enjoy learning more about ACL in the borough! To find Adult and Community Learning courses in Islington, visit the website.
“On Monday mornings, at First Steps learning centre, we have one of our twice weekly Employment Support sessions. At these sessions learners come along to receive help with their journey back into employment –It’s great to see people from all over the world come through our doors!
“In the afternoon I deliver information, advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis at Finsbury Library. These are confidential sessions that give learners the opportunity to get advice and guidance on a variety of employment and training issues. This week a young Somalian woman came along to ask about retaking her GCSEs. She was delighted to find out that it is possible, and that she could either do this at a local further education college or join one of our English classes, which cater for entry level up to English Level 2 learners. I advised her to come along to one of our English Assessment days, which take place every Monday afternoon at First Steps Learning Centre, so she could find out more. Please note, booking ahead is essential for these assessments, more information here.
“Assessment days for English and ESOL take place regularly in conjunction with our enrolment days. Here learners can have their English, Maths, ICT and vocational skills assessed either online or through a paper based assessment. These are very relaxed assessments and are designed to help the learner and tutors decide on the best class to suit the learner’s needs.
“On Tuesdays, I visit North Library, in Manor Gardens, to deliver one of three different Employability Workshops – this week was about job interviews. Two learners have signed up, one of whom is facing redundancy and has an interview later in the week and the other is looking for opportunities in the food industry. Building confidence and dealing with nerves is a big part of job interviews, so I encourage them both to relax into talking about who they are and what they enjoy about their jobs. In no time both learners were well on their way to tackling the answer to that famous interview opener ‘Tell me about yourself?’. Times like this remind why I enjoy my job so much – because it brings me into contact with so many different people and I love seeing people regaining confidence in who they are and what they have to offer.
“Wednesdays see me at Hillside Clubhouse, a centre that helps people recover from mental health issues and get back into the workplace. This week we were a group of ten learners and I provided advice and tips on feeling better about who we are and what we have to offer. The class is largely informal with lots of discussion and laughter and some challenges and awareness-raising exercises. We also take a look at negative thinking and how we can be more aware of how our thoughts affect how we feel and behave. In the afternoon we look at different communication styles and learn some ‘non-violent’ communication skills. Much needed connections have been made and people tend to leave feeling more positive about themselves.
“On Thursday mornings I’m at Arsenal Learning Hub delivering more one-to-one information, advice and guidance. In the afternoon I teach a Level 1 course called Delivering Customer Service Skills at First Steps Learning Centre. Our group is made up of learners from Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, most of whom are looking to return to work after several years spent out of the workplace raising families. We are learning about how to deal with a variety of customer expectations and polish up their interaction with customers, focussing on open body language, positive tone of voice and choosing the right words to say to make the best impact. A practical exercise lets learners demonstrate what they’ve learnt that day and leave the class feeling positive.”
Alison tells us that at the end of the week, she received a text from one of her adult learners to say she is starting a work placement with Islington Council’s Get Set for Work scheme. As part of the ACL service, this learner was able to practise both her application form and interview techniques. A big ‘congratulations’ from all of us!