After a challenging period of unemployment, local man Nigel Otterson from Moneymore reskilled and found work again thanks to the free life-changing support he received through South West College’s - Step Up to Sustainable Employment + (SUSE+) programme.
Hardworking Nigel, aged 48, was a skilled labourer who had worked in the Construction industry since he was 15yrs old, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he found himself out of work for the first time in his career. After getting over the initial shock, Nigel didn’t know where to begin and struggled to find employment until he discovered SUSE+ through his local Magherafelt Jobs and Benefits Office.
Nigel referred himself to SUSE+, supported by European Social Fund (ESF) through the Department for the Economy, which aims to help job seekers like Nigel progress and move into employment through a range of bespoke methods, including work placement, training, education, and support via a tailored development plan.
When Nigel entered the employability programme, he did not have a CV and up-to-date qualifications. In addition, he didn’t feel very comfortable as an IT user, which limited his employment options. As a result, Alison, the SUSE+ Lead Mentor, completed a detailed initial assessment to identify his job goals and career aspirations. She worked remotely with Nigel regularly to help build upon his employability skills and get him work-ready.
The mentor-led initiative supported Nigel with CV writing and interview guidance and afforded him the opportunity to update his qualifications by completing a refresher Forklift Qualification. In addition, Nigel received bespoke advice on the latest job offerings and was signposted to various job applications, which he completed alongside the support of his mentor.
Nigel gained the confidence, qualifications and employability skills needed to achieve sustainable employment as a General Operative, which was the perfect career match. Nigel was elated and praised SUSE+ for enabling him to return to work.
He said: “I have just started a new job with pro mould; this would not have been possible without the help of SUSE+, in particular my mentor Alison Farquhar she has been a massive help with everything from CVs and job applications and has been very supportive from day one, I cannot recommend this service highly enough, but I can say thank you!”
The SUSE+ programme transformed Nigel’s personal and professional life. He encourages others in a similar situation to avail of this free professional service offered locally through South West College. The innovative education and training programme is the most extensive tailor-made service at South West College, which helps job seekers move into growing sectors, assisting over 400 unemployed participants per year, within the Fermanagh, Omagh and Mid Ulster District Council areas locally.
For those aged 16+ who reside within Fermanagh, Omagh and Mid Ulster District Council areas and are unemployed or economically inactive, recruitment to the SUSE+ programme is ongoing; for further information and to apply, please contact:
Cookstown: Helen.McCausland@swc.ac.uk 077 1809 7464
Dungannon Angela.Reid@swc.ac.uk 077 3995 1970
Enniskillen: Michelle.Maguuire@swc.ac.uk 074 4253 1667
Magherafelt: Alison.Farquhar@swc.ac.uk 077 1809 7520
Omagh: Patricia.Cairns@swc.ac.uk 077 1809 7463