‘When I started I didn’t even know how to write my name. Now I’m even reading the newspaper.’
Mark left school at age 16. He spent years working on building sites, but without qualifications he began finding it difficult to get jobs.
‘I was in a rut,’ he explains, ‘not really going anywhere. And I didn’t know what I wanted.’
With more employers requiring qualifications, we responded to the fact that sometimes it isn’t enough to help an individual with their CV or interview skills.
We set up Create to provide more help for the long-term unemployed – equipping them with skills and recognised qualifications in areas such as carpentry, literacy and numeracy.
At 46 Mark felt he was too old to go to college. But he went. And, after obtaining Maths and English qualifications, some hands on carpentry training and a little encouragement, he made it.
Ibrahim’s story is very different. He arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker. His lack of English meant he couldn’t even fill in a form, let alone find a job.
He enrolled in the Create Literacy and Numeracy programme and, on the third attempt, passed his Entry Level 1 Numeracy – the first qualification he’s ever received.
‘I feel so proud,’ he says. ‘Knowing English feels so good. I can even confidently use the cash point.’
For Ibrahim it’s the tutors that make the difference. ‘It’s their courage and patience to teach a grown man like me,’ he says. ‘It was so difficult but they really gave me courage. When I started I didn’t even know how to write my name. Now I’m even reading the newspaper.’