Lakshmi first came to GRoW in October 2021 looking for support to find a job. Lakshmi had a long gap in her work history having stopped work in 2014 when she got married but with the support of GRoW she has now found a job at Boots The Chemist where she has a full time position as a Retail Operation Assistant.
Lakshmi said “I used to work in accountancy when I was in my home country of India but when I got married, like many women in my culture, I gave the job up to focus on my family. This was one of my main worries when I wanted to get a job here in the UK as I was aware that having an 8-year gap on my CV could be a problem. I was also concerned that my English speaking was not good enough and it really affected my confidence.
When I came to GRoW I had no idea of what sort of job I wanted to do or even what job I could do. I had studied at degree level in India but I didn’t have any formal qualifications in the UK and so my GRoW adviser encouraged me to take part in their training programmes so I could build up my skills and also learn more about the type of work I might want to do.
I took part in so many fantastic events with GRoW including their Preparing to Work in Schools Programme, the weekly Coffee Morning and the GRoW Picnics which are amazing. Each picnic I attended I met more and more people and gained new friends and opportunities each time. Speaking to other people and practicing my English speaking is so useful for me and GRoW have offered so many opportunities to do that.
Improving my English is really important to me and was one of my main priorities when I joined GRoW. Even though I can speak the language I don’t speak it fluently and I felt it was holding me back. GRoW helped me by putting me through a Level 3 ESOL Training Course which took 3 months to complete and was so useful. I also completed a Level 1 and Level 2 Safeguarding Course and a Data Protection Course too.
One of the most useful practical lessons I received was from Sonia who runs the CV, Job Searching and Interview Workshops. Sonia was amazing, giving me so much information to help me develop my CV and most importantly my confidence through the Interview Workshops. She also spent lots of time advising me on which Job Search Websites I should go on and how I should apply for a job.
Doing the GRoW Programme helped me really think about the type of job I wanted to do and I decided that the Retail sector was best for me. Working in Boots is a great opportunity for me as I get to use my English speaking in a way that is more comfortable for me and I feel I am doing a good job. GRoW has really helped me improve my confidence and I am so happy now to be working again and doing something I enjoy.