Communities for Work and Bridgend Communities First help Nicola to start training as a Teacher’s Assistant

Published on Thursday, 28 September, 2017

Nicola is a lone parent of two children who is looking to return to work soon. After being a stay at home mum for the last five years Nicola was concerned that she did not have the training and skills to be able to find a job that she would enjoy doing. Nicola has aspirations of being a teacher’s Support Assistant but could not imagine how she was going to make this happen as she claims Job Seekers Allowance and would not be permitted to attend full time college.

Nicola was referred to the Welsh Government funded Communities for Work programme by the Job Centre and was assigned her own mentor who gave her one-to-one support and guidance to guide towards her return to work. It was identified that she needed some much needed work skills and qualifications to give her a better chance of finding sustainable employment.

Nicola was also referred to the Welsh Government funded Bridgend Communities First programme who enrolled her on to several accredited courses related to children. This included, safeguarding, paediatric first aid, play working and food safety.  The Learning Officers and the tutors helped Nicola to feel at ease. This helped her to become more confident in herself and her learning.

Through her Mentor a voluntary placement was found for Nicola in a nursery which she attended for a few days each week. This helped her to get used to going out to work again and gave her some experience to add to her CV. Nicola has shown commitment and dedication in engaging with the two programmes and now is looking forward to starting a work based learning Supporting Teaching and Learning Support course. This was arranged through Communities for Work and will be delivered through ACT training through a one day a week voluntary placement.

Her Communities for Work Mentor was able to guide her with her finances by completing a ‘better off in work’ calculation allowing Nicola to see that she could take a part time job and continue with her studies. Nicola is now looking forward to her future and hopes to find a job in a school setting supporting students with their own learning.

Nicola said:

“I never thought that I would be able to train as a teaching assistant due to self- doubt. Through the support and guidance from Communities for Work, I have taken a range of child related courses and I am due to start training as a Teacher’s Assistant. I have grown in confidence and can see a future for me and my children.’’

Working in partnership with Communities and Job Centre Plus. The scheme has been supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.