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Building confident women ready for employment

We had a great day hosting a confidence building workshop in November for some of our ladies on our ESOL for Work 12 week course. The day was facilitated by Minara Coaching who took the ladies on a journey of self-discovery tackling their barriers to employment.

Peeling back the layers

The day included life mapping, goal setting, self-reflection exercises and group discussions giving the ladies the opportunity to think a little deeper around what else was stopping them from moving into employment apart from the lack of English speaking skills.

The workshop gave unemployed back to work mums from Ladywood who speak English as a second language the space and environment to open up about their personal fears and anxieties around finding work including; feeling confident about their work skills and experience, to apply for jobs and finding work to fit around their families.

Strength and resilience

The ladies emotionally shared their personal struggles and life stories from relationship breakdowns to adapting to daily life in the UK, dealing with language barriers and adapting to cultural differences whilst keeping their own cultural identities.

Transformational coach, Khairun Butt, reminded the ladies of their strength and resilience due to raising a family and dealing with past personal issues, encouraging them to use that strength to move forward in their lives and achieve aspirations to find work to support themselves and their families.

ESOL for Work

The confidence workshop was part of a 12 week 'ESOL for Work' course developed and run by Suited for Success in partnership with Fircroft College as part of our Back to Work Mums programme strand supporting unemployed women in the Ladywood area of Birmingham. The course goes the extra mile to support women who speak English as a second language and are struggling to find work after having children.

Suited for Success has been piloting the 12 week course since September as part of the Fircroft College Talk English programme and includes improving basic English speaking skills alongside preparing to successfully find and secure employment. From exploring employment aspirations, searching for jobs, creating a CV and applying for jobs to presentation skills, dressing for success and making a great first impression in a job interview.

Our ESOL for Work Project Co-ordinator Fazeela Mahreen says working with the Back to Work mums in Ladywood who speak English as a second language has been a real eye opener giving us alot of food for thought for Suited for Success to further develop the course, support more ladies and have a bigger impact:

"One of the biggest challenges the ladies face is lack of confidence, they are only aspiring to go into low skilled jobs such as cleaning so they don't have to speak alot of English as they feel their English speaking skills are not good enough. Many of the ladies have been attending ESOL classes for several years and their English is actual very good. They also feel part-time cleaning jobs are best suited to fit around motherhood and school timings.

Goals and aspirations

"The women do not have any long-term career goals or aspirations and are just wanting to find any job so they can pay the bills and provide for their children. We've learnt from one lady in the group looking for work as a cleaner actually has aspirations to be a teacher.

"Our ESOL for Work course at Suited for Success is about preparing the women for the world and help them to realise their full potential."

More ESOL for Work courses are planned for 2019 in partnership with Fircroft College as part of our More Than Just a Suit - Back to Work Mums programme strand.

Read more about our ESOL for Work course

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