In Your Shoes - Gilian LyonAll members Next: Mark Kemp
I started my career in Retail, and rose to the role of satellite Manager for a national childrenswear retailer by the age of 21. I had responsibility for training new staff and managers, and opening new stores, a lot of pressure, but a fantastic opportunity.
After a 2 year break, I returned to work after having my children, and decided I wanted a change in career, so I began working with a private training provider, and became a qualified SVQ Assessor, delivering Retail, Management , Customer Service and Warehousing SVQs, and I was also involved in the Royal Mail apprenticeships. This was a role I thoroughly enjoyed, and after 10 years, I transferred into the Sales and marketing team, where I was responsible for identifying eligible learners for the qualifications from both national and local employers, and also ran the Apprenticeship programme for Scotland. This involved identifying companies who had the capacity to recruit an apprentice for which I would then advertise pre-screen and interview suitable candidates and manage the process from start to finish.
Now working with the Wise Group, I am thoroughly enjoying my role as Communications and Employer Engagement officer, as no two days are the same, and it gives me the opportunity to attend different events and network .
MondayMonday 05 March 2018
As a married mum of 2, life is busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Any spare time I have I use to plan outings and holidays, and whilst Scotland was at a standstill with the snow, I’m afraid to say I was sunning myself in Tenerife, although I was thinking of you all from my sunbed.
I returned to work today, although our flight was delayed for a few hours, but fortunately not as long as other stories we heard about. Can’t say I’m thrilled with the weather we came back to.
Tenerife is a distant memory now, as I plough through and respond to my Emails and organise the busy week ahead, lots going on and lots to organise , so I’m sure the next week will go by in a flash
TuesdayTuesday 06 March 2018
So today we ran one of our weekly Job Clubs, It’s become a real social event within the office, as we have a lot of regulars coming in.We also invite the Financial Capability team to chat to customers, and give them calculations of how many hours would financially benefit them in work. During the sessions, we discuss what type of jobs our customers are looking for, and ensure their CV is up to date. Sometimes just a bit of encouragement from us is all it takes to help those that don’t have a lot of confidence, so we support with completing application forms and online competency based questions. During these sessions we also look at available placements and try and match customers up to these, so that we are ensuring continuity through the customer’s journey. We are starting to see the success of these sessions, with interviews and have even had a couple of job offers.
WednesdayWednesday 07 March 2018
Today was a very exciting day for a group of ESOL learners I have been working with. The 8 participants have been on a Get Ready for Work programme with Dundee City Council, and I have been supporting them with identifying suitable placements and job opportunities. Today was their graduation ceremony, and it was amazing to see the progress they have all made over the past few weeks. They all have their own stories to tell, and it was a very humbling experience. Already 2 of the group are starting a placement as van porters within Transform, a non-profit organisation recycling furniture. Working closely with the Dundee City Councils Employability Programme Support Team, we hope to have the participants in placements to match their skills, and offer job search support.
ThursdayThursday 08 March 2018
So today I attended an International Women’s Day event in Arthurstone Library. It was well attended by various local organisations and businesses, with visitors being offered all sorts of pampering and craft making. We were also treated to a keep fit display, I was exhausted just watching. It was a good opportunity to network with other organisations and meet new people, and I had a good chat with Councillor Lynne Short, discussing the work the Wise Group are doing within the Employability Pipeline. We discussed how we work with people at all stages of their lives, helping them overcome their individual barriers to get back into work, and how we can help achieve this, and we talked about some of the successes we have had.
It was great to see so many people at this event and atmosphere was amazing .
FridayFriday 09 March 2018
In the Wise Group office, we have been running a Customer Service based Academy, with a group of very keen participants, who are looking for employment in either Retail or Hospitality. Throughout this week, the group have been studying hard, towards achieving accredited qualifications as well as employability skills and Mindset training. The next step for the participants is now to look at suitable placements, where they can gain some valuable experience in their chosen field with the hope that this will help them secure permanent and sustainable employment. The Academies are a valuable part of a customer’s journey, especially if they have decided to look for work within an industry they haven’t worked in before . The Academies are a great confidence builder and we have seen many successes following on from these, in terms of placements leading into permanent employment. We run approximately 2 Academies a month, covering subjects such as Retail, Hospitality, Care, Call Centre, and Construction. Again this has proven to be a very valuable part of a the customer journey.