Employment support for over 50s

Mandy was referred to Kennedy Scott in December 2014 by her Jobcentre Work Coach, where she joined the Employment Support for the Over 50s Project. It was identified that Mandy’s barriers to employment were her lack of IT skills, low confidence, low self-esteem and being away from the labour market for a significant amount of time.

Mandy had previously worked in a cafe for nine years, which she loved but sadly had to leave to provide end of life care for her mother, who was suffering from cancer and has since passed away.

The loss of Mandy’s mother affected her greatly and her life took a turn for the worst, she was forced to give up the home she had shared with her mother and as a result suffered a bout of depression, admitting she could not see light at the end of the tunnel.

Mandy and her Kennedy Scott Employment Consultant, Patrick, worked together to create an action plan and it was agreed Mandy would look to find work in either catering or care. Shortly after, Mandy completed an Employability Skills workshop and basic IT Skills training, so that she could apply for jobs online.

Mandy attended several interviews but without successful, as her lack of confidence was visible to employers. She was still struggling with her depression, but she believed engaging with other learners at Kennedy Scott was getting her out of the house and helping her overcome her loneliness.

Mandy attended a Level 2 Healthy Aspirations course hosted by mental health charity MIND. This focused on personal development and wellbeing. Mandy thoroughly enjoyed the course and believed it was making a difference.

Mandy volunteered for more learning arranged by Kennedy Scott. Her Level 1 IT Training was of great help and she quickly became competent with using computers. So much so, that she found herself offering support to other learners in her group.

A few months later Mandy started the last of her training, a Level 2 Food Hygiene qualification, which as a result gave her the confidence to work back in catering. She had now gained three accredited qualifications (Level 2 Healthy Aspirations, Level 1 IT Training and Level 2 Food and Hygiene).

Mandy was invited to an interview at Premier Inn. The role was working in their kitchen as a Breakfast Chef. Mandy excelled at interview stage and was offered the job. Premier Inn hotel management said: “Mandy was an absolute delight.”

In March Mandy started her new full-time position at the Premier Inn. Mandy said: “Kennedy Scott has been such a great help to me, they have helped me feel confident and strong. I have achieved so much with them I didn’t know I could.”

On Friday 19 June, Mandy was recognised in the Adult Learners’ Week Bedfordshire and Luton Awards during a ceremony at the University of Bedfordshire. Mandy was awarded the Lifelong Learner Award, which recognises an individual over the age of 50 who has become engaged with adult learning.