Jun 2014 / Learners

Published: Aberdare Leader

An Aberdare woman who was empowered by Wales’ largest training provider when making the switch from a career in IT to working in social care is urging others in Rhondda Cynon Taf to reflect on their own skills as the UK economy continues on its upward trend.

Tina Foster, 44, is enjoying a second career with charity Action for Children after completing her Level 5 Leadership Management Qualification (ILM), which is now available at Level 4 to assist those in the Rhondda who are not in education or work for more than 16 hours a week.

Mum-of-two Tina, who closed her IT consultancy to retrain into childcare following the birth of her second child five years ago, is urging anyone whose career development may have stalled in recent years to take advantage of the free scheme with ACT Training.

Tina, Action for Children Service Co-ordinator, said: “For me, the ILM qualification helped to bring skills I had accrued during my IT career back into focus at a time when I was looking to consolidate my new role in a new field. I found that studying towards the ILM qualification at the same time has provided me with the confidence I needed to manage my team more effectively”.

Tina continued: “I’ve also experienced redundancy during my IT career, and understand how this can affect your confidence – studying for the ILM helps you realise that whatever your background skills are, they are transferable within any field”.

“In my experience, the ILM qualification has helped to define and validate the skills that I already possessed, and I am confident that anyone undertaking the new qualification will be supported to find success in a new job or career somewhere else.”

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and led by the University of South Wales, participants aged 16 to 65 can get access the QWEST programme directly through ACT Training which can help with CV writing, work experience, job searches and overall career planning and advice.

ACT Training Manager Ann Rees said: “News of a promising resurgence in the UK economy makes now the perfect time for those that not in education or training for more than 16 hours a week within the Rhondda Cynon Taff area to take advantage of this great scheme.”

“As Tina’s story shows, whether it’s a new job or a whole new career you’re looking for, the existing skills you already have need never go to waste – QWEST could help you find your first ever management role or simply another path in life that you’ve always wanted to try.”