4th July 2019
We are delighted to share this mini interview with Sammy, our fantastic AEB & ESF Manager. From a typical day, to a zombie survival plan, find out what makes Sammy tick and what her job entails. Discover also an initial insight into InterLearn’s recently awarded Skills Support for the Unemployed contract with the ESF as Sammy prepares to lead on this exciting opportunity.
Q: How long have you been working at InterLearn?
A: Since the beginning- I joined Interlearn in October 2017 when we worked out of a temporary office in Hanbury.
Q: Tell us a bit about your career background before you joined the company?
A: I have worked in the training sector for over 7 years. My previous role was at Talent Training where I was the Contract Manager for the ESF London contract working as a sub-contractor of Manley Summers. When I was offered the opportunity to Contract Manage the ESF provision at Interlearn, I jumped at the chance to return to my old contract and pick up where I left off.
Q: What sort of thing do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and running around (literally) after my three and a half year old, Oliver – he definitely knows how to keep me on my toes. When I do get a spare hour or so, I enjoy going to the gym- to work off all the treats which I have devoured during my working day. On weekends, I love to travel to see my family who live in Wales and I also enjoy a glass or two of prosecco.
Q: What three words would best describe you?
A: Ambitious, Passionate and definitely a Chocoholic
Q: If a zombie apocalypse breaks out and you had to choose a survival partner to travel with to try to avoid being bitten, who from your company would you choose, and why?
A: My survival partner would be Gareth Robinson. Not only would he make me laugh with his quirky comments, but he is so passionate and dedicated, there is no way we would be bitten…plus us Welsh have to stick together!!
Q: If you ruled the world, what would be the first law you’d make?
A: I would allow everyone to have a 4-day weekend!
Q: How would you describe a typical day in your job here at InterLearn?
A: No one day is the same within the short course department. A typical day includes liaising with subcontractors and referral partners, arranging various courses, communicating with the senior management team and ensure the smooth running of the division.
Q: What’s been your biggest challenge during your time managing contracts?
A: The biggest challenge I have endured thus far has been the closure of two ESF London contracts. Although the contracts completed in March 2019 I am, four months later, still working closely with the supply chain to close down the provision.
Q: What is AEB and how does the funding work?
A: The Adult Education Budget (AEB) aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for employment. It enables more flexible tailored programmes of learning to be made available to help learners engage in learning, build confidence, and enhance their employment prospects.
Q: Can learners be either employed or unemployed on an AEB course? What other criteria is there?
A: Yes, courses are for those who are unemployed and claiming benefits, as well as those in employment on a salary less than £16,009.50. The other criteria for candidates are: they must be Resident of UK/EEA in the last 3 years, able to take paid employment and be aged 19 and over as of 31st Aug 2019.
Q: Tell us about the SSU contract.
A: Skills Support for the Unemployed (SSU) offers a flexible programme of employability and skills training, which is tailored to the individual’s needs. Its core value is to enable learners to progress into paid employment or further education.
Q: How do you see your AEB experience translating to managing the SSU contract?
A: The experience I have gained throughout the AEB contract has been invaluable and will stand me in good stead to deliver on the SSU contract. This is a really exciting opportunity for me to build relationships with new partners and to make a big difference to unemployed individuals within the Worcestershire area.
Q: How can customers benefit from the courses we are planning to offer and what types of courses will be run?
A: We offer a range of recognised qualifications to suit individual needs. Currently, we deliver Employability Skills, Warehouse & Storage Principles and Health & Safety in Construction. With our new e-learning platform, Interlearn is able to offer a blended approach to learning, which enables learners to log on and completed a qualification in the comfort of their own home.
Q: How do you manage your workload and priorities?
A: I find planning is key! I usually spend five – ten minutes every morning writing a to-do list for the day ahead and prioritising my tasks in order of importance.
Q: What is your favourite thing about working at InterLearn?
A: The staff! Everyone is so friendly and caring, it’s a great place to work. We really are one big family!
Q: What is the most satisfying aspect of your role?
A: The most satisfying and rewarding aspect of my role is being part of our learner’s journey. From the initial meet to the learners fully completing the course and securing full time employment.
Many of our learner’s struggle with day to day life due to little/no income, therefore, assisting them to complete a recognised qualification which very often leads to employment and a full-time salary is such a huge achievement.
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