Free IT course gives Sue the confidence to start work
Sue Parkes, who lives on Beechdale in Walsall, was referred to our Employment and Training Advisor Rob Friday by our Money Advice Team after seeking some help and support on her finances with both her and her husband
out of work.
She’d decided that she wanted to do something to pass the time, so Rob suggested she complete a Learn My Way
IT programme. This is one of the free courses available via our Employment and Skills Team.
“I was at home not working and looking after my husband, so it gave me something to do,” Sue explained.
“I don’t know loads about IT, but I know a bit more than some. I thought I’d give it a go to keep my mind occupied and if I learnt from it, then that would be a bonus.
The course was great. It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s helpful to anybody, whether they’re looking for work or just left school. In the current situation, it’s useful for the older generation too so they can learn a bit more about computers so they can get by with things like internet shopping.
“Not only that, but it is completely free and you can do it from the comfort of your own home.”
Sue said she worked closely with Rob, not only in relation to the course, but also to reshape her CV.
“We were in a pickle and Rob spoke to me on the phone and guided me along the way, it was great,” she added.
“He was so easy to talk to – it was like talking to my brother. He explained everything and was a great listener too. I can’t fault him at all – he even helped me with me CV as well.”
By May of this year, Sue had managed to find work at her local Wickes store as a cleaner to help keep the store Covid secure.
Her responsibilities were to keep the canteen and staff areas clean, as well as making sure tills were safe for colleagues to use during click and collect sessions.
“Within two weeks, I’d been offered a full-time, permanent job – not as a cleaner, but on the shop floor,” Sue added.
“At the beginning of July, I started on the shop floor and they got another cleaner in. I was doing deliveries, click
and collect and things like that.
“I’m now doing 30 hours a week.
“I really love working there. I love everything about it – working on the till, helping customers.
I really do think having the attitude of wanting to do something and completing the IT course in the first place helped me get this job.”
Sue said that after her experiences with the team, she’d recommend them to any other customers who may find
themselves in a similar situation or who want to broaden their skillset.
“I’d definitely recommend the team. At the end of the day, there’s no such word as can’t,” she added.
“I’d say just do it. It keeps your mind active, it’s free and Rob is always there at the end of the phone if you’re stuck.
“Even if it’s something you may not use in future, you’ve got that knowledge and capability knowing that you can do something. Just go for it.
“There’s always somebody to help you along the way. Don’t be shy – just go for it. There’s no shame in asking."