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Enhance your CV with Kickstart Maths and English Course

27 February 2017


Derry City and Strabane District Council, in conjunction with the North West Regional College, are offering local people the chance to enhance their employability in the space of just 14 weeks by studying towards GCSE equivalent level qualifications in English and Mathematics.

The Kickstart Maths and English Course is open to anyone resident in the Council area and prepares students to sit City and Guild Level 1 and 2 exams in the subjects.

Applications are currently being accepted for the course which is expected to start in early March.

Mentoring and Employment Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Eileen McGrinder, noted that the majority of vacancies in the local job market have a minimum requirement of GCSE level qualifications in the two subjects meaning vastly experienced candidates are often unable to apply.

“During the six or seven years we have provided this course we have helped hundreds of people get the qualifications they need to meet the criteria to apply for jobs,” she said.

“It has helped people who are more than capable of doing jobs and have good experience but don’t have the necessary qualifications on paper.

“The vast majority of jobs require GCSE or equivalent level Maths and English qualifications and this course offers you the chance to study for either subject, or both, in just 14 weeks.

“There has been a strong group dynamic in the classes, the students work well together, helping and encouraging each other to prepare for the exams.”

Eileen’s role as a mentor includes providing one to one tuition for students who may have difficulty with aspects of the courses and providing guidance to candidates who may have been out of a classroom environment for some time.

“As mentors we keep in touch with students every step of the way and can always be contacted by text, e mail or phone call for help or guidance,” she explained.

“If people are anxious about going into a classroom environment, mentors can make the process as comfortable as possible by meeting students outside the college, bringing them to the room and introducing them to the teachers and other students.

“The mentors can also offer one to one tuition for aspects of the course that students may have difficulty grasping.

“Quite often it’s a matter of presenting a theory in a different way for students to grasp it, I remember, for example, using diluted orange to explain ratios to someone.”

The course is held for one day a week for 14 weeks with three hours of maths classes in the morning and/or three hours of English classes in the afternoon.

Classes will be held at the North West Regional College’s Strand Road campus where Mathematics Tutor Morgan Walsh says the course has had a notable effect on student’s confidence levels over the years.

“It can be intimidating for people who have been out of institutional education to go back into a classroom but we try and remove the barriers at every stage.

“The groups we have taken all have the shared goal of achieving the qualifications and they have worked well together in encouraging each other to successfully complete the course.

“Most of the candidates never expected to be back in a classroom environment to study Maths and English but they were surprised how much they enjoyed the experience.

“The course is relatively short, when students have two or three weeks under their belt they are already a quarter of the way through and the longer it goes on the more they grow in confidence and are able to grasp the concepts being taught.”

Anyone interested in enrolling in the KickStart Maths and English Course can contact Eileen McGrinder at [email protected], call 028 71 308466 or text 075 952 162 49 for more information.