Skills Support for the Workforce

All The Small Things - Cath Ralph

Cath is a community development support worker for All The Small Things, a social action hub in North Staffordshire. Cath was given the opportunity to work on a national program called Community Organising, which would require her to train local people on the principles of community organising in a series of bite sized courses.

Cath needed to gain a qualification in Education and Training in order to able to work on the program.  Enter Skills Support for the Workforce. 

How SSW supported Cath

The Challenge

Cath did not have a formal teaching qualification or any prior skills or experience in teaching, so needed to obtain a relevant teaching qualification.

Cath attended an initial IAG appointment and functional skills assessment with an advisor at Stoke on Trent City Council, who is part of Serco 's network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the Skills Support for the Workforce programme (SSW). It was identified that a Level 3 Award in Education and Training would give her a formal teaching qualification, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field of community organising.

As the SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Cath was able to access the training at no cost to All The Small Things.

The Training

Cath attended the Introduction to Education and Training course, where she gained an in-depth understanding of the learning aims and objectives, assessment requirements and sampled learning activities of the qualification. Cath then went on to compete the accredited Level 3 Award in Education and Training which involved self-study using the teaching and learning materials provided through the course, and hands on practical experience of teaching through the final assessment practical module.

Cath learned new skills and techniques in teaching and made resources to take away and use within the workplace. As part of the course, Cath also got the chance to deliver some hands-on teaching before going into the classroom for real. Being in a classroom of other professionals enhances confidence in one's own skills, enables shared leaning and enabled Cath to network with other similar professionals. The training also improved Cath’s presentation skills and ability to work in a team.

Please note the training took place pre-COVID.

The Outcome

Cath achieved the qualification and is now endorsed as a Community Organiser Trainer for All The Small Things. Catherine says:

“I have reflected on the course and found it to be incredibly useful and a wholly positive experience.”

The training has enabled Cath to gain a transferable qualification, along with a foundation level understanding of education practise which could lead to further progression on to higher courses.

The course has opened up the prospect of doing further study and Cath is thinking of possibly progressing onto Level 5 Teaching and Learning.