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Employability programme adds a touch of class to parents' job prospects

Posted on 18 Jun 2024

Parents are training to become classroom assistants in North Ayrshire schools through a popular training initiative.

As part of North Ayrshire Council’s Skills For Life programme, parents who have been out of work and are looking to get back into the workplace are supported as they explore new opportunities.

The programme provides a temporary 26-week mentored position within the Council and participants are offered pre-employment advice, in-work support and support to find positions that work well with their family life.

Kilwinning mum-of-two Cheryl Moore has just completed the Skills For Life Classroom Assistant programme after hearing about it through We Work for Families (WWFF) – which is a Council-funded service in Ardrossan that supports parents to break down barriers and get into work.

Her placement was at Kilwinning Academy, and she explained: “I have always had a passion for finding a job in an education setting, but my lack of experience held me back. Skills For Life has now given me the experience in a school setting.

“I have had a lot of support along the way, and the programme has improved life for me. It has given me the hands-on experience I needed and cemented that this is the career path I would like to take.

“It has also improved life for my family because it has given me an income, allows me to do more things with my children, means I am there for my kids during the summer holidays and has taken away the barrier that I had – which was childcare.”

The Council’s employability service’s Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme manages Skills For Life.

Cheryl, who is currently applying for permanent jobs, added: “I would recommend the Skills For Life programme to other parents who are looking for a fresh start. I would say to other parents if they get this opportunity, they should jump at it.

“This has been the first time in 14 years of working life that I have not woken up in the morning dreading coming to work. It has been such a positive experience.”

Tim Swan, Headteacher at Kilwinning Academy, said: “Cheryl has been great at the school. She has made a lot of contacts and worked well with the other classroom assistants. Staff have also commented on how positive she has been within the classroom while working with young people.”

“This programme offers people a real opportunity to develop skills that will improve your life chances and improve your chance of getting a job. It will also improve your confidence and self-belief.”

The Council’s Employability Service delivers a range of support through its Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

Contracted partners delivering Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire include We Work for Families and CEIS Ayrshire, who all contribute to delivering a wide range of support to help individuals prepare and progress into employment.

To access any of the opportunities delivered by Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire please email employability@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can also find out how Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire can help you with things like CVs, application forms, Modern Apprenticeships, paid work experience, interview techniques and secure employment at Help finding work (north-ayrshire.gov.uk)

Follow the team on Facebook at Working North Ayrshire.