Learner Profile - Beatrice O’Loan, NEBOSH and NEBOSH Construction

Busnes@LlandrilloMenai and the Centre for Infrastructure Skills and Technology (CIST) are helping people change their story through Personal Learning Accounts (PLA).

These are flexible and fully funded courses for people who are earning under £29,534, or whose jobs are at risk – allowing them to gain the right skills to progress or change their career. The courses are vocational and focus on sectors where there are skills shortages. The aim is to help individuals, by upskilling in areas like IT and digital, finance, construction, green jobs and more.

Name: Beatrice O’Loan

Qualification gained: NEBOSH and NEBOSH Construction

Current role: HSEQ Coordinator, Jennings Building and Civil Engineering

Why did you decide to follow the course? I signed up for a PLA course as I was interested in health and safety and was working as a dispenser in a pharmacy. I was finding it difficult to get permanent work so I felt signing up would help me progress my career.

Tell us about your background? Covid struck as I was studying for my A Levels, which meant I finished school in March and wasn’t sure what to do next. I decided not to take up my place at university and worked in retail before getting a job in a pharmacy. I enjoyed the work but found I could only get temporary contracts and couldn’t get the support I needed to develop my skills. I decided to take a job at a call centre so that I had some income whilst still studying for my first qualification through PLA.

How have you benefited?
I felt the different jobs I had undertaken didn’t offer me the opportunities I wanted. The first PLA course was the turning point. It opened my eyes to a whole new area of work and helped me to broaden my horizons and to look for employment in different sectors. I now work in construction – something I never thought I would be doing. I made new friends through the course, and it introduced me to a whole new community. It’s the best thing I did.

Has the qualification changed the course of your career?
Without a doubt and without the PLA I’m not sure what I would be doing today. It has opened up new opportunities for me and put me on the path to a career where I can see a future for myself. I’m in a job I love and my employer is supportive. And because of the two qualifications I gained through the PLA I am now eligible to study for NEBOSH diploma.