In October 2017, the HMRC announced closures across the UK with 130 staff facing redundancy at their Derby office, with that it was confirmed it would hit their 70% of female staff the worst.
Those included in the redundancy process were Heather, 36 years employment, Emma, 15 years employment, Linda, 32 years employment and Lisa, 38 years employment. Each of the former employees joined HMRC early in their careers and did not foresee such a drastic change at this stage in their career.
Unaware of what the future would hold, these experienced job seekers were forced to consider how they would be able to stand out in such a competitive market regardless of their extensive financial experience. Would their unparalleledexperience outweigh the fact they lacked a GCSE maths qualification? Would employers be able to look past their gap in 'necessary' academics? Heather, Emma, Linda and Lisa quickly realised upskilling was their only option.
“After 38 years with the HMRC, I was terrified at the thought of being unemployed and having to look for a new job... I really didn’t know where to begin! I had been with the HMRC since I left school at 16 and GCSE grades weren’t really considered at the time. I knew that it was very different now and if I wanted to strengthen my C.V I would have to look at gaining a maths qualification as it certainly sets you apart from other candidates.”
*People with poor numeracy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed than those with a grade C or above in GCSE maths.
All four women were offered generous support from their former employer in relation to CV writing and applications but faced a series of complications when reviewing their academic skills and like many experienced workers the prospect of going back in to education was terrifying. This is when Emma looked online and came across functional skills maths with CT Skills and found that the four of them could achieve the maths qualification in as little as 6 weeks.
“I know several people who have been rejected from a job with large employers, just because they didn’t have their maths qualification. I didn’t want to be one of those people, so as soon as I came across the functional skills course with CT Skills, I knew the four of us had to get ourselves booked on.”
After attending an information session, all four of them signed up to the course with CT Skills Derby and at first worried about being in a classroom environment as they felt it was completely out of their comfort zone.
“The last time I stepped foot in a classroom was over 40 years ago so it was hard to not be so nervous! But as soon as I got there and met with my tutor Richard , I felt immediately at ease. Everyone in the classroom is here to learn and Richard is always there to answer any questions, so I never feel afraid to say I don’t understand.”
“Each week is completely different and I love it! I never thought I would enjoy maths but Richard is so easy to understand. We will soon be sitting the mock exam and I feel relaxed about taking an exam for the first time in my life...I am excited to progress on to my Level 2 in maths.”
Upon completion of the course, Emma will begin a new role working for a local Housing Association as a Benefit Assessment Officer. Heather, Linda and Lisa are looking forward to their future and once they have secured the maths qualification, they have high hopes about finding new employment.
If you are interested in a functional skills maths or English course at our Nottingham or Derby centres visit HERE or call our team on 0115 9599 544.