Laid-off Lambeth residents seize chance to retrain
Amanda Pavon-Lopez is a spokesperson for Lambeth Adult Learning.
Last November, 24 Lambeth residents joined a training course for jobs in Lambeth Council’s Public Protection Team. The course was organised by Lambeth Adult Learning and ran at MI Skills Development in Brixton.
It covered how to help the community and businesses apply Covid-19 rules along with support to improve job applications and interviews. Successful learners found work as Covid Wardens, Support Officers, Test Centre workers and as local volunteers.
Ex-hotel manager, Roberto Faedda, found work as a Covid Warden. He says, “I lost my job during the pandemic and was really happy to go on a short course to become a Covid Warden as I was going through a personal crisis. It was a very difficult time and I was losing hope. The course gave me so much confidence and everyone was fantastic. I didn’t realise that there was so much help available for people like me.”
His work as a Covid Warden opened his eyes to a potential new career. “Helping people and working in the community was all totally new to me. It made me realise that a change of career can be a real opportunity to do something different and worthwhile. It’s great that something positive has happened to me among all this crisis,” he said.
As the Warden job was temporary, Roberto decided that he would pursue his dream to find permanent work in the community. He says, “I decided to do a short Sector-Based Work Academy course with High Trees about applying for a job in the civil service. I worked very hard during the application and interview process and I studied and learned lots. The tutors helped me to make an application and they gave me great morale support – they even called me almost every day to check where I was with my job search.”
Roberto was successful at finding work with the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) and is excited to have a new job. He says, “I am a Work Coach now. I help people towards financial independence through work and claiming the support they need. I help people find the right job and to keep their job as well. The DWP is an amazing department and I’m proud to be part of it.”
“I have never been so happy. I feel great because I can help people. I’ve been there and I know how difficult can be – I can use my personal experience to help to make a change in somebody else’s life. I can connect with the community.”
Roberto wants to encourage others to not give up hope. He says, “I really hope my story can help others to see some positivity and light at the end of the tunnel. I have not only found a job but a job that I really love. This is something I always wanted to do but I thought it was not achievable. I’d really like to say thank you to everyone that helped me to change my situation. Learning with Lambeth was an amazing experience! I hope my story gives others the opportunity to think that changing career is possible. It was for me!”
Lambeth Adult Learning has a huge range of courses to help Lambeth residents improve their skills and find work. Some centres are open for classes with social distancing and other protective measures in place. Other courses will be delivered online.
Find out more at https://keeplondonlearning.com/ (just click on Lambeth).
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