College improves prospects of unemployed

lisa clarkeWith more competition for jobs than ever before, getting the right qualifications and training has never been so important. East Berkshire College, however, is giving unemployed people a helping hand to improve their skills and chance of gaining employment.

Individuals who need training to get back into work are finding they may be eligible for help with the cost of study and, in some cases, free course tuition.

Mother of three, Lisa Clarke (31, from Slough), is one individual improving her skills as a result of accessing funding for a Beauty Therapy NVQ course at the College's Langley Campus.

"With my youngest child starting school, I wanted to get back to work. After 15 years out of the workplace, it was difficult to find a job and I realised I needed to improve my skills. I was worried about going back to College at first because of my age and the cost. However, I found out that I was eligible for help with the cost of my course because I was unemployed."

Before having her children, Lisa worked part-time in a bridal shop. It was this experience that inspired her to look at hair and beauty courses, with the ambition of working in a salon or setting up her own mobile business offering bridal packages.

With this in mind, Lisa researched the College's courses and found that she was entitled to free course tuition. Having dyslexia, Lisa wasn't sure what level of course she should be studying. The College was able to give her a quick assessment to identify which course was right for her and any additional help she may need to improve her English and maths.

"There are always hurdles to face in life," explains Lisa. "You just have to find ways to overcome them. There are always things you can do to help yourself. For me, that's going back to College to improve myself and my qualifications. Passing this course will really give me more job options.

"I would definitely recommend College - it's not just for 17 year olds. There are students of all ages here. Everyone is friendly, they treat you with respect and the course fits in well with my family life. I'm so looking forward to qualifying, getting back to work and supporting myself."

In addition to government funding schemes, East Berkshire College has its own financial support schemes that can offer students, subject to eligibility, a percentage of their tuition fees. Plus, flexible instalment plans are available on some courses.

The College is also delivering a range of valuable advice, guidance and job search activities to members of the public at its campuses in Langley and Windsor as well as various community venues. The service, known as 'Next Step', includes workshops on CV writing, job applications and job hunting.

For further information on funding and over 600 full-time and part-time courses, contact East Berkshire College on 0845 373 2500

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