Viviane Pinheiro

Viviane Pinheiro came to the UK from Brasil for work in 2013 but had to give up when she gave birth to her son in 2015.

Viviane needed to improve her English as it is not her first language to enhance her future career prospects and to help her pass her driving test. A friend told her about MI Skills Development Centre, so she contacted us and was invited in to complete an initial assessment. She was assessed as working towards level 1 English and enrolled on Functional Skills English course in April 2018 which she successfully completed.

Viviane wanted to return to work but a brief spell as an unqualified nursery assistant ended when she couldn’t afford suitable childcare. She did, however, continue with her English studies and progressed onto level 2 in August 2018. There are times due to English not being her first language that she found the course challenging but with the support of her tutor Nadia she successfully completed the course.

Viviane previously worked as a radiology assistant back in Brasil and dreams of becoming an X-ray technician but knows that she will need to work her way up towards achieving her dream. She spoke to Ayo Balogun, MI Skills Development Centre IAG Personal Adviser about her future dreams and that she is passionate about caring for people as she had supported her mother with caring for a relative back in Brasil and the satisfaction that this gave her. Ayo told her about a Pre-Employment Training Programme for Lambeth residents looking for a career as a Support Worker that MI Skills Development Centre were delivering in partnership with Lambeth Adult Learning and local care employers, Certitude and Independence Homes.

During the 3-week semi-intensive course Viviane learned about disabilities and patients needs, what was involved in working in the care sector and what employers are looking for in employees. The course involved using iPads to record mock interviews to help identify areas for development such as improving their answers to questions, checking their appearance and behaviour and seeing how they projected themselves. Viviane says it particularly helped with her nerves and confidence: “I felt really nervous before doing the mock interviews as I had never seen myself before but watching the recording back later on helped me identify what preparation I needed to do. Afterwards, I felt more confident and it really helped me get ready for the real interview.”

The course also helped Viviane prepare a good quality CV and personal statement tailored towards a support worker role. She says, “The most difficult thing to learn was how to put myself into my CV. I hadn’t thought about that before, or about writing a CV for a specific job. I think this helped me succeed.”

Viviane says the training programme really helped her understand the care profession: “We thought we knew everything about the work, but we knew nothing. The course helped me become more independent and gave me more of an idea of what I want to do.” She has since started work as Support Worker with care provider Independence Homes.