‘A Day in the Life’ – developing employability skills in the time of Covid-19 lockdown

 In Blog, Employment

Ian Walker, Project Manager on ELBA’s Employment and Skills programme, recently had the pleasure of being introduced to a fantastic candidate, Trudy, through the Thrive project that he is running in partnership with Tower Hamlets Homes. Ian, and Trudy, tell their story below:

Trudy came to me looking for help with training and employment, having been out of work for a number of years. After introducing her to a training program, we embarked on getting her application ready for a 50+ apprenticeship scheme in Business Administration. I was really pleased that Trudy was successful in her application and subsequently started her apprenticeship, but sadly this began just as the COVID19 crisis forced us all into self isolation and, as such, the apprenticeship scheme was put on hold.

Not to be deterred, Trudy decided to make the very best out of a tough situation! She has written a short overview of what she is doing to keep active both physically and mentally.

Trudy’s account of ‘A Day in her life’:

I have been out of work for some time and was due to start a 6-month work placement with my local authority as part of their 50+ programme. I was very much looking forward to this but, sadly, after only a day and a half I was sent home because of the COVID 19 virus pandemic.

I was really disappointed (although there is a promising hope the programme will restart in 3-4 months) and the first couple of days were a bit grim, however, I decided that if I’m going to be stuck indoors for 12 weeks, I want something to show for it at the end! So…..

With the help of a friend (who is also self isolating with me) we bought a lot of paint as we have plans to redecorate the bedroom. It feels like a great way to utilise the time for something that needs doing. (Although we were taking a bit of a chance ordering paint on the internet, but it turns out that melon sorbet is quite a nice colour).

Later in the week I have a meditation class on Zoom (remote hosting) which is fun and helps me learn a new social media tool and I’m also hoping to take part in a remote pub-style quiz next week.

I am very much involved in my local tenants’ and residents’ association and have volunteered as a remote coordinator for a group we have set up, to help people who can’t get out due to COVID 19. The group is helping match volunteers with people needing assistance with shopping, or just a friendly chat from a neighbour on the phone.

ELBA has been helpful in giving me access to training videos and assessments to teach me the MS Office suite, as it’s my focus to become an Excel ninja within 3 months. They have also registered me onto their ‘Stay Nimble’ programme, which is an online digital career coaching platform that I can access remotely during this period of time. I’m looking forward to starting a course on creative writing, critical reading and forensic science – there are dozens of different courses available as well as strength assessments which can really help people to get back on track once we beat this situation and get back out into the world.

I only listen to the news once a day and I like to tune into a radio station that just plays country music without any newsbreaks (not everyone’s taste I know but Yee-ha!)

This outbreak of COVID 19 means that many of us will be stuck indoors for quite some, but it doesn’t have to mean we can’t move forward by learning something new.

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