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STRIVE Ayrshire - Sept 2018





Essential Skills Programme

Fullerton Community Centre – Irvine

Case Study , Robert Donnelly, ( 17/09/2018 – 05/10/2018 )

Having just completed the Strive programme, I feel I would like to share my experience of the course with other jobseekers, who, like me, feel as if they may need to renew their job-hunting skills, and look for ongoing support.

If nothing else, being unemployed is sometimes a lonely place to be. Getting up in the morning and arriving on time for a day of learning with a good bunch of fellow seekers that you can bounce off from, and they you, is worth attending the course for.

For myself, I first came across Strive in the form of a flier I found on the desk of my Job advisor at the Jobcentre. At first I didn’t think it was for me. I’ve always been a very confident and outgoing person, I’m fairly well educated and I was too cocky by half. I thought this course was designed for long-term unemployed and quiet people who needed some confidence and motivation. I was wrong.

Anyhoo, I popped the flier in my pocket and thought I would forget about it. I couldn’t get it out of my head though, and after a fortnight I asked my advisor to refer me. Good decision.

On day one, I was introduced to the course facilitators, Elaine and Rosaleen (Ros). I was also introduced to 18 other people who were on the course. A quick word on the rest of the group.

The group I met that day consisted of a great bunch of guys of different ages, talents and personalities. We were all so different, but also all the same. Some people were loud and confident, others retiring and shy.

The important thing was that we all got along, I liked all of them, instantly, and as the course went on, that fondness just got stronger. We all helped each other, and after a while, became that band of brothers and sisters that took us through to the end. The biggest changes came from the quietest ones, who bravely put themselves forward, and ended the course different people, more confident and happier.

Elaine took the course every day bar one. Elaine is great. She instilled the discipline and set out the boundaries that we would have to abide by.

As the course went on we learned how to write spec letters, use the phone to apply for jobs, write application forms and how to conduct ourselves during an interview. As I said at the beginning of this report, I was far too cocky, and thought I knew it all.

However at least I was smart enough to listen and learn about where I was going wrong with my job-hunting. I had always been good with finding the vacancies, researching and applying for the jobs. I always failed on the interview side. So many interviews, so many rejections.

Elaine and Strive honed my soft skills and showed me how to present myself to a potential employer. She also clipped my wings a bit, something I definitely needed.

Ros McCarron, the other facilitator is another remarkable lady. If Elaine is the heart of Strive, then Ros is the brains. If Ros was on Star Trek she’d be Scotty in the engine room. Ros goes out there phoning and visiting employers, armed with your CV, she actively promotes you to people and keeps you informed the whole time. She becomes your champion and does a great job.

So to finish off this report, I would like to say, whether you think you would benefit or not, join the course, you will be surprised. All you need is a genuine willingness to work and to learn from the course. Be respectful to the facilitators and your fellow students, and you cannot fail to improve your chances of employment.

As for me. In the second week of the course Ros brought to my attention, a vacancy in a bank in Glasgow. I applied – good. I was invited for Interview – Good. I took everything I learned on the course, especially from my mock interview, and applied it – GOOD.


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