Sue worked as a wages clerk for 10 years within a local company until it was forced to close, leaving both her and her husband unemployed. Partially sighted from birth, Sue was left wondering how she would get back into work without support and further qualifications. The impact of this left Sue devastated until her Disability Employment Adviser referred her for a visit to Portland College.
Six months after being initially made unemployed, Sue started her IT course in the College’s Karten CTEC Centre, with the aim of improving her skills in Microsoft packages and SAGE specifically.
Sue’s time at Portland has resulted in her achieving qualifications including Levels 1, 2 and 3 in Accounts, together with Microsoft Masters; a total of 6 exams. Sue has also learned how to complete online applications and search for opportunities online, which greatly increased her chances of gaining employment. Six months into her time here, Sue applied for and was offered a position as Finance Assistant at Leicestershire Police, who called her application ‘first class’.
Further to the qualifications offered through Portland, Sue was supported in a variety of different ways to help with her disability. The team at College provided a larger VDU and AccessApps to magnify items and text on-screen, and the College has given Sue a copy of these applications to take to her new job. Her tutor also went “above and beyond” by supporting Sue once she had left College by keeping in touch and providing both advice and information. Sue was also made aware by Portland staff that through the DWP she could have access to financial support for travel, which is vital to Sue as her disability makes mobility difficult.
Sue says, “I have been encouraged and supported by the College throughout my course to do things I didn’t think were possible. Losing my job turned out to be a blessing in disguise as coming to Portland has made me more confident and given me a range of new skills. I have even enrolled at night school to further my education!”