Gaining Language Skills to Benefit Career: Mariyana’s Story

Mariyana, aged 59 from South London, met the Making a Difference team at their Disability Confident Job Fair in Croydon. She was out of work and lacking in confidence but keen to get into the job market.

However, her levels of English were proving a problem in moving forward – she was able to communicate in English as a second language to a basic level. Her goal was to focus on improving her written and spoken English so that she would be in a better position to have more options in her career path. Mariyana was unsure what she wanted her next role to be but she was confident that with motivation to improve her skills and support from her Employment Coach, Cass, she would be able to move forward.

Mariyana began intensive ESOL classes at Croydon CALAT and was progressing well, however her language barrier with Cass was proving to be a challenge in enabling her to receive full support. To ensure that Mariyana had full access to the guidance and information offered, Cass liaised with one of her colleagues from her team, Luchiya, who was fluent in the same first language. They decided it would benefit Mariyana to work more closely with Luchiya therefore removing one of Mariyana’s biggest barriers.

This was an excellent example of adapting provision to the needs of the participant and the closeness of teamwork between the Coaches in the Croydon team.

Mariyana and Luchiya decided to explore different career options and to create Mariana’s CV while she studied. Some of Mariyana’s choices were Dental Nurse Apprenticeships or as a Carer. They worked together to create her CV to target those options, looking at the skills and experience required.

At the same time, Mariyana was also studying for her ESOL exams and Luchiya made sure to have regular catch ups with her to support and offer guidance. She successfully graduated and made decision to continue studying Business Management at Croydon College which she had to attend an interview for. Feeling nervous and worried she turned to Luchiya for advice, and Luchiya helped to build her confidence, as well as to prepare her for the interview with role play and guidance around how to prepare for questions.

The Result

Mariayna has graduated and gained her Level 2 ESOL Skills for Life certificates. She has built her confidence and now feels that even at the age of 59, anything is possible. She is proud to have achieved her goals of improving her English to broaden her career choices and furthering her education: she feels her dreams have come true.

Mariyana also now has a fully prepared CV for the first time in many years and is considering working part-time while she studies.

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