“Think Employment helped me get into a position where I could apply for the course I wanted to do” – Rachel Carr

Rachel Carr is ready to start a brand new career, thanks to her time at Think Employment.

After coming to us a few months ago to upskill in English and Maths so she could apply for a Nursing course, Rachel recently achieved Level 2 qualifications in both subjects and was offered a place on the programme!

We spoke to Rachel about her experience at Think Employment.

Can you remember how you first came to hear about Think Employment?

I phoned around the local colleges because I was interested in doing an evening course in English and Maths and Tameside College gave the number to Think Employment. At the time, I thought Think Employment was a college, I didn’t know it was a learning centre!

Why were you interested in doing qualifications in English and Maths?

I wanted to apply for a Training Nursing Associates course – it’s an apprenticeship in the NHS Trust – but I needed to have either a Functional Skills Level 2 or GCSE grade C and above in English and Maths. I understood from my initial conversation over the phone that I could study for both of these qualifications flexibly around my job as a Care worker at Think Employment.

So you studied around your work commitments. How often did you come in to our learning centre?

At the start I could only manage two-to-three days a week because of my job and the fact I had to travel from Dukinfield to Stockport – which is about a 30-minute bus journey! But when the person I was caring for unfortunately passed away, I was able to come into the centre even more towards the end.

And what were your experiences of both the English and Maths courses you did with us?

I started with Maths because I thought, out of the two, that would be the one I would struggle with the most – and it certainly was! I struggled a bit getting my head around fractions but eventually, with the help of the tutors, it finally clicked for me. I managed to achieve both Level 1 and then Level 2 before progressing to English and doing the same. I found English much easier but I think that’s because I enjoy reading and writing. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a challenge because you do forget things, but enjoyed it.

After you completed your training with us, you got a temporary job until your Nursing course begins. Tell us about how you managed that?

I’m actually back with my old company I worked for for 10 years. I called them to see if they would provide me with a reference and they said ‘If you’re looking for work, you could come back to us!’ They understood that if I did get on the Nursing course in September, it would only be a temporary thing. Then I found out that I’d been accepted on to it just a couple of weeks ago!

That’s great news, Rachel. How long has this been your main career goal?

I would say at least for the last 2 years. So it feels great that I’ve managed it. The Training Nursing Associates course is a paid Apprenticeship through Manchester University. All I need to do is go out and pick my uniform – I’ve already got my shoes!

Amazing. Looking back, what do you think of Think Employment then?

It’s a great place to come. Think Employment helped me get into a position where I could apply for the course I wanted to do. All of the staff helped me in my personally journey along the way – Tom, Andy, Meghan – whenever I got stuck they were there to help. They’d always be able to explain things in a way that I could understand. They are amazing at helping.

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