“My name is Callet Lewis. I previously worked as a hairdresser and also in a call centre in the Caribbean. Due to medical reasons, I had to leave my job as I needed some time out to get well.
I moved to the UK from St Kitts and Nevis in March 2017. I was looking for work but had no success. I realised that I needed to upgrade my skills and gain some qualifications. I also needed to re-build my confidence to help me to find work. I struggle with dyslexia and did not learn to read until I was 13 so growing up was difficult for me. My teachers helped me and along with my self-determination, I was able to pass my exams at school.
My sister brought me to MI Skills Development Centre where she was already studying. She told me that it was a good place to study, that the staff were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, and I would be made to feel at ease. I was still nervous though when I first came to MI Skills Development Centre. I was given initial assessments in English, maths and ICT to assess my levels. I was assessed at working towards Entry Level 3 maths and ICT and Level 1 English. I enrolled on all 3 courses and I completed them successfully.
I received a lot of support from my tutors Brahima and Nadia. They really encouraged me to learn and my confidence began to grow. I then progressed onto English at Level 2. I found this quite challenging and there were times I wanted to give up but my tutor Nadia and Ayo the IAG officer really encouraged and supported me. I stuck with it and have now successfully completed.
While I was on the English Level 2 course, I decided that I wanted to help others like I have been helped. Nadia inspired me to want to become a teaching assistant and to help children with dyslexia overcome their fear of reading as I was helped when I was younger. I saw a leaflet for the Level 2 Teaching Assistant Award course and spoke to Ayo who signed me up for the course. I started in September 2018 and I successfully completed in December.
While I was on the Level 2 English course I saw an advert for a cleaning job at Chequers Contract Services on Indeed website. I was able to update my CV to make it look professional through what I learned on my English course. I submitted my CV and I was invited to an interview and was successful. I started working in June at a school in Morden as a cleaner on a part-time basis. This gave me more confidence to improve myself and to move forward to get me closer to my long-term employment goal. Ayo discussed with me about a job opportunity working as a support worker for Independence Homes, who provide care and support for adults with epilepsy, brain injury and other complex learning difficulties. This involved me completing a 3-week semi-intensive training programme with MI Skills Development Centre and Lambeth Adult Learning to prepare me for a guaranteed job interview. I learned the roles and responsibilities of a support worker and how to deal with clients with epilepsy. I was supported to enhance and customise my CV to match the job role I was applying for. We took part in practical demonstrations and roleplays for practise interview scenarios. We used pads to record ourselves so we could reflect on our performance and to help improve how we come across at interview. I completed the course and was offered the job on the condition that I successfully completed the Independence Homes 2 week training and epilepsy assessment. I passed and started working in December 2018.
I am working hours that suit so I can continue my studies and progress onto Level 2 Teaching Assistant certificate and also Level 1 maths and ICT to help me achieve my long-term goal of becoming a teaching assistant. I know that this will be a long journey to reach my long-term goal as it will take me 3 to 4 years, but it will be worth it. I just want to help other like I have been helped by my tutors.”