ULR Waseem Tahir excels as a mature student

Waseem Tahir started his career as a cinema projectionist and worked in the cinema trade for six years before he was made redundant. He used this as an opportunity to develop his skills, initially working in a customer services role at the Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council and moving on to co-ordinate several different projects during his two and a half years within the Council.

Waseem has been a Unite union member and union learning representative at Mosscare Housing in Manchester since 2008. He combines his ULR role with his job as Continuous Improvement Officer and has helped many staff and community members with their learning and development over the years, working with both the Unite Union Learning Fund teams and unionlearn in North West to organise courses and events and sign post people to individual programmes.

Waseem sits on the Mosscare Training Consortium Forum and is closely involved in the running of Mosscare's vocational and professional development programme which covers everything from apprentices to higher education.

As part of his ongoing development, Waseem embarked on an Information Management Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated with First Class Honours and was awarded the NW CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals) Branch award for achieving the top score across the Manchester Metropolitan University's Information and Communications Undergraduate degree routes.

Waseem used the skills he learnt on the course to provide several benefits for his employer.

These include:

  • Using research and information analysis skills developed on the course to conduct in-depth analysis on several key surveys for the organisation
  • Using experience gained in developing web based applications, including blogs and wiki's to develop and improve Mosscare's intranet and website.

Waseem was able to secure paid time off as well as financial support from Mosscare Housing towards his degree and when asked how he felt about returning to an academic environment he said

"I didn't expect to do as well as I did when I first started the course, in some ways I felt a bit awkward. But because the course was made up of people from a variety of different age groups, I fitted in really well. It was because as mature students, we were more aware of why we are undertaking a vocational and professional qualification and that motivation helped drive our learning and helped us to achieve the personal development goals we had set ourselves."