Weston Learner Experience - Paul and n-ergy

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‘Paul’, an ex-prisoner, shares his Learner Journey about how he found employment on release from a prison in the South West of England, where the Education Department is run by Weston College.


While serving his sentence, Paul enrolled on a vocational training course with n-ergy, who work in close partnership with Weston College to deliver vocational and employability programmes to learners in custody. Paul successfully achieved a QCF/NVQ qualification in Performing Manufacturing Operations which helped him develop new skills and gave him a renewed sense of purpose. It also helped him to set goals. Determined not to re-offend and instead, rebuild his life, one week prior to his release date Paul met with a member of n-ergy’s employment support team, Lee. 

Paul said: “My initial meeting with Lee towards the end of my sentence was filled with so much enthusiasm and positivity. Lee was, from the start, planning my route into work on my release. He looked at my CV and started to get a plan and ideas of where to look and prospective employers to approach.”

Paul also did his own homework by scouring the local newspapers and job boards and even approached employers at their premises face to face in his search to find work. As a result of this determined approach, three interviews were scheduled into one week.

Paul added: “We arranged an interview at a local distribution centre in Wales where Lee actually drove me there on the day and I subsequently got employment. It was due partly to Lee’s enthusiasm and belief in me that I went to the interview so relaxed and especially so soon after my release which for some people can be a vulnerable time.”

Paul is now earning a decent wage to support his family, and is grateful for all the support he has received to secure a permanent job shortly after his release with a national retailer close to his home town. Achieving a qualification has given him the confidence and self-esteem to re-enter the workplace and Paul is confident about his future and the new challenges that lay ahead. 

Source: Weston College Brighter Futures Newsletter - Edition 3

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