Bernadette's joy as new job secured...

Bernadette Tomkins, a community learner visited one of POA Learning’s community sessions on the Isle of Wight after recently moving to the Island and struggling to find work.

Having a lack of confidence in her own IT skills and, after being out of work for 18 months, she met with Dave Logan, Isle of Wight Centre Manager for support.

“Having been unemployed for 18 months and facing the challenges of online job searching, I realised that my computer skills were limited and I was feeling anxious about ever finding a job. I was put in touch with POA Learning through the local job centre.” said Bernadette.

Dave commented, “Her initial assessment showed that she had better computer skills than she thought and we worked on her self-confidence throughout the process making sure that everything was kept positive and upbeat.”

After an initial chat about the sort of work she was looking for, Dave was able to signpost Bernadette to the most suitable employers and where would be best to find adverts for jobs on the Island.

With a new CV produced, the online searching began. With Dave’s support Bernadette found a role, that was suitable, working with students with communication and learning difficulties based at a local school, an application was sent along with her CV and within a week, an interview had been secured.

Bernadette was nervous about the interview process so Dave embarked on some interview preparation with her. He said, “I stressed the importance of coming up with some prepared answers in advance and doing research to ensure she had the best knowledge possible about the company.”

It was all smiles and a double celebration the following week as a delighted Bernadette came back and confirmed that she would be starting her new job on the same day as her 50th birthday!

She was full of praise for POA Learning, “Without POA Learning I don’t think I would have found my new job. From assessing my work skills to overcoming my huge technology barriers and fears, Dave helped me fill out the forms online and understand the process fully.”

“It was nice to see a friendly face weekly, sometimes twice a week at a time when I most needed the support.”

She concluded, “Prior to the interview I was a nervous wreck, but the preparation helped hugely and I got through it!”

This is another example of how POA Learning and the Union Learning Fund have helped an individual, who may not have had the skills or confidence to get back into work without their support, secure employment.

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