Unemployed get chance to put their skills to the test

Course improves employment opportunities.

Unemployed people with skills and experience in a range of industries have benefitted from a free course leading to new job prospects.

Training experts BCTG ran the unique two-week course for a group of people with experience in construction, engineering, retail, hospitality and business administration. And for 62-year-old Bruce Bennett the course has opened up new opportunities in charity management as well as a confidence boost after he was made redundant from his work with a community association.

Mr Bennett, from Walsall, was among the group taking part in the course where he gained a Level 3 Award in Asssessing Vocationally Related Achievement and in Facilitating Learning and Development.

Chris Luty, BCTG director, said: “We ran this as a one-off course to see what kind of reaction it would get. We had a great take-up particularly from people who had been made redundant and, like Bruce, had years of valuable experience to offer. The aim was to encourage people to consider becoming training assessors because vocational training by its very nature is work-based learning which requires both trainers and assessors who are experts and skilled in their particular industry depending on the NVQ in question.

“The course has led to full-time employment for some, while for others like Mr Bennett it helped him reassess his skills and how best to use them.”

Mr Bennett added: “The great thing about the support I had from BCTG was the opportunity to network with other people, to gain some very useful qualifications and to some extent get my work confidence back. Being made redundant at 61 felt like retirement was being forced on me, however thanks to going on this course I have now set up my own freelance business helping charities tap into trusts, establish governance and general management advice.”

Mr Luty added: “This kind of course clearly has a demand and can benefit people who have lost their jobs and want to find a new way of channeling their work skills. Should we get future funding for it is something we would like to run again.”