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Young Learner Becomes a Learning Support Assistant

Young Learner Becomes a Learning Support Assistant

Jan 8, 2015

Liam Skee is eighteen years old and was born and raised in Gateshead. At school, Liam juggled his study while caring for his disabled parents. Liam’s dedication paid off when he succeeded in achieving good GCSE results.

Liam readily admits that, despite his GCSE achievements, he lacked confidence and was unsure which route to take after school. Liam therefore decided to enrol on our Ready to Work Programme in February 2013.

Maria Tyson was Liam’s Lead Tutor. Maria recognised Liam’s potential and the challenges he faced. Remembering Liam at the beginning of his journey, Maria said; “It soon became apparent that Liam was a smart young man who was juggling other commitments. Even though he was meeting his family and learning demands, Liam was always the first to offer help to his peers when they needed his support. Throughout Liam’s course we ensured he received wrap around care from our team. We engaged Liam in exercise activities to help him to overcome his reliance upon energy drinks which had contributed to Liam experiencing panic attacks and insomnia. The group learning activities and individual support helped Liam to develop his confidence and self-esteem.”

“It soon became apparent that Liam was a smart young man who was juggling his commitments”

Liam was a model learner throughout the Ready for Work programme. His attendance record was excellent and he always made valuable contributions to class discussions. Maths tutor Sarah Richardson said of Liam; “Liam attended my maths course. He flourished in class and his peers welcomed his support; I could see then that he had the necessary qualities which would enable him to make a difference to the lives of others.”

A Natural Progression

Every tutor that worked with Liam felt that he had potential to be a very good support worker. Liam welcomed the possibility of supporting tutors and  helping young learners to overcome some of the challenges he had faced himself.

In 2014, Liam applied for a job as a Support Worker with learningSkills. Liam performed extremely well during the interview and impressed the interviewers with his enthusiasm and maturity. learningSkills were thrilled to offer Liam a Support Worker position.

Supporting Young Learners

Liam initially supported tutors delivering maths and English classes. His role has since extended to include; ICT, Alternative Education, Construction and Employability. Liam can identify with young people and is able to settle their worries and anxieties while building a good rapport with them and the tutor.

“Liam rises to challenges within his personal and work life, his enthusiasm fuels his successes”

Yildan Husnu is one of the tutors who benefits from Liam’s support. Yildan said; ‘It is a pleasure working with Liam, he is organised, professional, dedicated and committed to helping and supporting others. In addition to this he is committed to achieving his own goals and fulfilling his own aspirations. Liam rises to challenges within his personal and work life, his enthusiasm fuels his successes and he is a prime role model for both learners and colleagues. Observing Liam progress from learner to support worker has been inspirational; his genuine care and interest for the learners he works with is welcomed and Liam quickly builds sound, solid, working relationships with some of the hardest to reach learners. Liam openly shares his experiences with them, demonstrating that with a positive attitude and hard work it is possible to achieve qualifications and employment. Liam has made the tutors at learningSkills very proud.”

These sentiments were echoed by Maria who said; “Liam is the very reason why I wanted to become a teacher, to make a difference in someone’s life, and for them to make a difference in mine.”

Liam’s learners appreciate his guidance and support. Toni Sneaton and Jennifer Udale from our Alternative Education Inlearning programme said; “Liam is a great help in class and he is always there to talk to. He is really calm and has a great sense of humour which puts us at ease. We all really respect Liam, we listen to what he has to say and we do our best to work hard and learn in class.”

Liam Pictured left receiving his Award from Lesley Monaghan, Head of Employability

Liam Pictured left receiving his Award from
Lesley Monaghan, Head of Employability

Award Nominations

Liam was nominated in three categories for the learningSkills Awards and was runner up in the Skills for Employment category. He received his award from Lesley Monaghan, Head of Employability and Delivery Services at the Skills Funding Agency. When tutor Sarah Richardson congratulated Liam he replied; “I am happy that I won an award. It’s great to be acknowledged, but I’m more pleased for my learners. It’s great to see my learners succeed.”

Higher Qualifications

Liam will be starting a Level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification in September whilst continuing to support our learners here in learningSkills. Well done Liam, everyone at learningSkills is incredibly proud to work with you.

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