Case Study: How I landed my dream job after 15 years of unemployment
In 2018, nearly a third of 50 to 65-year-olds in the UK were declared out of work (around 3.6 million people), which is why it is no surprise that unemployed, over 50’s are more likely to be out of work than any other age group and are now being dubbed the generation caught in the ‘unemployment trap’.
CT Skills were pleased to meet with Ginny Hicks, 52, who herself had been caught in the unemployment trap, after being unemployed for over 15 years as she had taken time out of work to care for her youngest daughter. Now that her daughter had grown up, Ginny felt it was the right time to get back in to work. However after being unsuccessful with numerous job applications, Ginny began to suffer with a low self-esteem and a lack of confidence and began to doubt if she would ever be able to find employment again.
Determined to secure a job, Ginny continued to search for new opportunities on Indeed which is when she came across the Customer Service Sector Based Work Academy (SBWA) with CT Skills Nottingham. The SBWA offered a 10 day pre-employment training followed by a guaranteed interview with the Co-op food store. Ginny soon enrolled on to the course and began the training within a few days of applying.
“I had no experience of today's job market and absolutely nothing to feel confident about in my life. As soon as I started the course, my confidence boosted straight away, as I felt it covered everything important for me which would increase my chances of being successful at an interview! My tutor was brilliant; it was great to have someone with so much knowledge, who was also friendly and fun to learn from. I felt at ease from day one, which made me confident when contributing to group learning… I genuinely enjoyed each day I attended the course.”
The course covered a variety of Customer Service modules which prepared Ginny for her interview with the Co-op.
“I was given step-by-step support in creating a CV by being shown all the information an employer would want to see. I was also able to prepare answers to potential interview questions and I learnt how to present myself in the best and most professional way at interviews. The modules covered everything important for me to know to increase my chances of being successful and more importantly, if I was not successful with the interview at the Co-op, I know for certain that all the information I had gained from CT Skills had inspired me to really keep trying to change my life.”
After completing the short course with CT Skills, Ginny attended the interview for the Customer Service Assistant role for the new co-op store in Beeston, Nottingham. This was Ginny’s first interview for over 15 years and she was determined to not let her nerves get the better of her.
“I remember sitting nervously on the tram on the way to my interview and deciding to try to relax and clear my head, I concentrated on one thing I remembered being taught by my tutor - the importance of a good first impression. The interview was going very well and halfway through, the interviewer told me that not only did I have the job, but he wanted me to be the Head Baker in-store! If it hadn't been for CT Skills I would never have had the preparation which I know enabled me to come across as a positive person with a great attitude. I really can't stress enough how much CT Skills helped me!”
Ginny has since began training her training with the Co-op and is thrilled about her future now that she is in full time employment.
“Now everything has changed and I'm over the moon (I didn't stop grinning for two days)! I feel like a valid person again, happier and more confident than I have been for years and years. When I filled out a form recently and ticked the 'Employed' box it felt brilliant. I love learning the new skills for my job but the best part of all is being able to finally feel good about myself and know I'm making my kids proud.”