Clair Middleton may have worked all over the world, talking to many different people, but she still feels her confidence has improved since completing an English course with Think Employment.
After leaving school with a single qualification in numeracy and literacy, Clair felt the time was right to return to the education environment to boost her CV in an attempt to land her dream job.
Why did you first come to Think Employment?
I knew I had to improve my English and Maths skills and I saw that Think Employment offered courses in these when I was in the job centre. I took it upon myself to refer myself to you guys.
What made you think you needed to improve your English and Maths skills?
I got kicked out of school without getting qualifications in either – I was very naughty back then! I knew I was good at English and could get by with maths on a calculator but I was always quite conscious about grammar, spelling, formatting and the difference between writing a formal letter and an informal letter. I’m a confident person, but I knew I needed to work on these areas.
Hopefully you enjoyed doing our English courses – did they live up to your expectations?
Yeah I loved them. I’m a big talker and worked in hospitality for my whole life. I’ve travelled the world and talked to many, many different people. I like being able to communicate with people. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, so I like knowing what I’m saying is right. Thanks to this English qualification, my confidence has soared! I can write a letter now and I’ll read it back and think ‘wow – I’m good!’
Did you find the information about written and reading skills useful as well though?
Both have been really useful to me. I like reading and I like to write. I’ve always been able to talk but the course has helped me with things like pronunciation and which words I should be in context. The writing side of the course really helped me because I used to struggle with grammar and spellings in the past. It even helped me work out how to approach answering a question and how I’m going to start and end it. I also found it useful to learn the difference between formal and informal communication.
And how did you find the Maths training?
I’m just finishing up the Level 1 course in maths because I know I need that on my CV to help open doors in my career. But I’m not keen on doing any further study in the subject, I just want to be able to do the key things and prove that to an employer. English, though, that’s my thing. I want to become a Hospitality assessor one day and I’m going to have to write reports and plans regularly.
Who would you recommend come to us to improve their numeracy or literacy skills?
Anyone who’s aware that their knowledge of English and Maths could be a bit stronger really. You hear clever people who know English saying words like ‘prefixes’ – coming here has helped me understand some of the more complicated things to do with grammar. I think anyone would benefit from the training – even people who use social media to contact their friends. This training will give you confidence to communicate properly.
And did you like the learning environment at our centre?
Yeah, I loved it. It’s nice and relaxed. The Tutors always have time to help the learners. I’ve never felt as though support has ever been rushed. They sit down and go through things and make sure you understand before moving onto something else. I love the fact also that you can work at your own speed and, because of my hospitality background, I don’t do anything slow!