Whilst working at Roundhay Tesco, Usdaw rep, Andrina Stanislawski signed up to study on the online ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) computer course offered by Selby College. A decision which led to new work opportunities.
Andrina used her negotiating skills to arrange paid release from work to attend the five college based sessions; firstly, for an induction and skills check and then for her assessments in PowerPoint, Word, Excel and then the final assessment.
Andrina explained her motivation to take the course:
I took on the new role of Admin Assistant role in store. It involves a lot of work on the computer and I felt that I could do my job better if I could increase my computer knowledge and skills.”
I’ve used Microsoft Office for a long time but I’ve always bumbled my way through the different packages, not really knowing what I was doing”.
Returning to learning wasn’t easy for Andrina, she said:
At first it was quite nerve wracking, going back to college, feeling that I’m beyond learning and would I ever pass an EXAM! But it all turned out to be ok as it was quite relaxed, the tutor was really supportive and the online course itself was very user friendly.”
When doing assessments there was a “practice” assessment that highlighted any weak areas that you could then go over before you completed the main assessment. Also, if you needed to use the computers at the college to complete the course or just do a bit of quiet practice you could do that too. The college was really helpful. “
Studying was on a part time basis - as and when she could, alongside work and family commitments. The course takes place exclusively online for the learning and practice of each subject and there is a mock exam to test your knowledge at the end each section. Once Andrina felt confident in each subject she booked herself a slot for the exam at the college.
The course taught me great computer skills and I received a qualification at the end in Microsoft Office ECDL. It was then that I started looking for jobs outside of retail and I saw an advert that specifically required the qualification Microsoft Office ECDL.”
It was that and the skills that I have gained through working with Usdaw that helped me get the job that I now have.”
Unionlearn has a page dedicated to Digital Skills with lots of information and signposting to resources.