Skills2Achieve: Meet Laila

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Simon Parkin presents Laila Mahmood with the Enham plate at the Enham Awards 2013
Award winning student Laila Mahmood with Simon Parkin from ITV

Skills2Achieve helped Laila turn her life around and find sustained employment

When Laila wanted professional advice on gaining more qualifications and help to find sustained employment, she turned to Enham Trust’s Skills2Achieve programme.

During her initial interview with the S2A Advisors, Laila was very quiet and found engaging with other leaners a challenge.

Laila then informed the S2A staff that she would be leaving for Pakistan over the Christmas period for an arranged marriage. Although she was uncomfortable with this – she was in a long term relationship with a man she loved and wanted to stay with in Southampton – Laila’s lack of qualifications and employment left her feeling like she had no other option.

A difficult start

Laila returned from Pakistan a married woman; she struggled to concentrate on her training and was becoming increasingly withdrawn. Determined to regain her independence, she continued to work hard, maintained 100% attendance, and stayed focused in finding employment. With the support of the Skills2Achieve staff Laila came out of her shell, started interacting with & supporting other learners, and seeking advice from her tutors.

Turning the corner with Enham

When Skills2Achieve were informed of the position of Classroom Assistant becoming available at a local school, Laila jumped at the chance and applied for the position straight away; teaching being something she had always been interested in, and was quickly asked to attend an interview. Although she was nervous, the support she had received from Skills2Achieve – her Work Choice Advisor, Tutors and other learners – gave her the confidence to complete the interview process and she was offered the job!

Continued success

Since finding employment, Laila has become reconciled with her family and has married her long term boyfriend. With the help and support of the Skills2Achieve Team and her Work Choice Advisor, Laila was able to progress from her position as a Classroom Assistant to taking on an apprenticeship in Childcare, something she had always dreamed of.

Move on to the next stage with help from S2A