Raymond McNulty is a 60-year-old man from Liverpool in the United Kingdom. Raymond has a physical disability, he needs hearing aids due to poor hearing and has experienced mental health challenges within recent years. Raymond is formally educated to school age but has applied himself throughout his life to develop his education. He received a certificate in education and completed various teaching courses to become an adult educator. Ray started out as a window cleaner and a sandwich delivery guy, he spent many years as an entertainer singing in pubs and clubs. He committed himself to improve his skills and up until 2014 he worked as an Adult Educator within finance.
In 2014 Raymond’s life changed dramatically, he experienced an overwhelming amount of loss, his marriage broke down, he lost his home and due to health problems, he became s unable to work. He began a new relationship but his wife sadly passed away from Cancer. This resulted in Ray severely losing his confidence, particularly in relation to his soft skills, confidence, communication skills, patience, and tolerance. He was poorly motivated and resilient. Due to this, Ray struggled to find a steady job. He said he is unable to recognise any value in himself so and wonders why would somebody ever pay for him to carry out a job. He explained that his values have always been important to him and he feels he would be able to demonstrate the level of commitment that an employer would require.
A year has passed since Ray lost his partner, and although the way he felt about himself had not altered, due to extreme loneliness, he wants to have something positive in his life. He engaged himself with the community centre where Merseyside Expanding Horizons are based and we felt Job Yes was an appropriate project for him to become involved with. Although consumed by fear, Ray agreed this was a project that could really meet his needs as he is confident he has hard skills as prior to his change of circumstance. He considered himself excellent at his job but now having lost those soft skills, he feels he has lost the ability to even search a secure job. Due to Ray’s circumstances over recent years he has had very little involvement with ICT and he expressed his concern of using a computer.
Ray explained how he has overcome his fear due to the user-friendly tools of Job Yes; he said instructions are really clear and he understands how to use the Open Educational Resources and Self Needs Analysis for example which was a surprise to him and a real confidence boost. Raymond really enjoyed the blended learning approach, he found very useful to work in a group and be in a session with other individuals who have experienced similar challenges and believes it was exciting to develop his soft skills without any facilitation, something he would have found impossible to do prior to Job Yes. The most interesting thing for Ray was to see his progress he was making, something really important for Ray as he expressed the need to validate his skills. After completing the piloting of Job Yes, he felt he had increased his employability by updating his
CV with new information. What was new for Ray was the flexibility of the project: since he was engaged in the Job Centre Ray has been sent on mandatory employability courses that were very fixed and formal and time bounded; there was no opportunity to continue learning or take it into a more comfortable environment like home.
Since his participation in Job Yes, Ray is now aware of the skills he developed, he recognises his needs don’t meet the labour market for now but he chose self-employment to resume a role within adult education. An achievement for him was being able to attend each session; he explained how he didn’t want them to end as Job Yes had not only made a positive impact upon his employability and soft skill recognition but also upon his personal life. After the piloting, Ray continued to move forward: he had a job interview with very positive results. Although Ray was not selected for the employment opportunity, they told him they would be interested to meet with him again to discuss projects that he could do on a self-employed basis.
At the beginning, when Ray was asked to complete the Self Needs Analysis he was nervous as he couldn’t recognize his soft skills. After spending some time with the facilitator, he completed it but felt that he was a hopeless case. He was reluctant to complete any Open Educational Resources for fear of failure but once his results began to improve, he became very proud of himself and relished the opportunity, at the end of piloting, to repeat the self needs analysis and celebrate his achievements. Ray said that when he felt discouraged in job searching he used the project website to keep him motivated. Ray is now conscious of his soft skills and is committed to continue his Job Yes journey. He said the job centre noted a positive change in him which has encouraged them to support him in job searching. Ray would recommend Job Yes to anybody he comes into contact with and thanked the project for enhancing his life in such a positive way.
The interview was carried out by the facilitator of the training Stacey Robinson, Merseyside Expanding Horizons.