GMB Reach Out makes IT Work for Rebecca

Rebecca Blezard is celebrating landing her ideal job with help from the GMB Reach Out project.

After leaving school, Rebecca completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Childcare in Education and got a job as a Teaching Assistant. She left work to raise a young family and as her children grew to school age, Rebecca wanted to return to a similar role. To meet the financial demands of raising a family as a single parent, Rebecca accepted a supply teaching assistant position through an agency. However, with the increasing use of technology in the classroom, Rebecca found it difficult to secure a permanent post as she did not hold a relevant qualification in IT. 

Rebecca tried to enrol on a course but found it difficult to find one that would allow her to combine learning with her work and family commitments. A friend referred her to Reach Out and a project worker met with her to identify the IT skills which would be most useful to her work.

The project worker then contacted a local training provider to organise a flexible learning programme so that Rebecca could attend shorter sessions of learning between leaving work and collecting her children. Having struggled to find a course to suit her needs, Rebecca was delighted by the support she received from Reach Out in adapting to her circumstances.

As part of this support, the project worker provided Rebecca with advice and guidance throughout her course and showed her how to apply what she had learnt in the workplace. This gave Rebecca the confidence to take on additional responsibilities in her agency position, even demonstrating to a qualified teacher how to produce slides of lesson plans in handout format. 

Rebecca stated that the personal support and warmth of welcome she received from all the Reach Out Team were vital in helping her return to learning and achieve a Level 1 ITQ. With the certificate secured, Rebecca was able to land her dream job as a full-time Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant at a nearby specialist arts college. 

Rebecca added that in the past she had not really considered training but her experience of the course had given her greater confidence in her abilities. She is now looking forward to undertaking more in-service training as part of her professional development and has recommended Reach Out to two of her friends who need help to develop their IT skills.