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.

If you’d like more information about the courses we offer in Stockport and across the north of England call us on 0161 883 0322.