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: Shaun Conrad
“It’s a brilliant scheme. It has changed my life and means I can now plan for the future.”
Courses attended: CPCS 360 excavator / CPCS dumper and roller/ CPCS telehandler
Why did you decide to follow the course?
I felt I was stuck in a job that was taking me nowhere and wanted to better myself. So, when a friend suggested I looked into PLA I decided to sign up.
What did you do before the course?
I left school and went straight into a job as a labourer on a building site. I then worked as a groundsman at a caravan site for a while. I didn’t go to college because I lacked confidence and didn’t really enjoy school.
How you have benefited?
Signing up for the PLA has changed me. Getting machinery and plant tickets are expensive so it let me gain a qualification which in itself was valuable, but it has opened up other opportunities for me as well. Once I completed all the courses, I was lucky enough to be offered a job here at the college as an instructor. I would never have thought a few years ago that I would be in a teaching position. Before I gained my qualifications I was always on minimum wage and living from pay cheque to pay cheque. It has changed my life and means I can plan for the future. It’s a brilliant scheme with a huge range of courses.
Has the qualification changed the course of your career or lead to a new job or long-term work?
Without a doubt. Signing up for PLA has completely change my career path. I am now a full-time self-employed accredited instructor, and with the additional NPORS qualification I’ve managed to secure I can test and train people on how to use machinery. The PLA gave me a foot in the door and opened my eyes to instructing and work I would never have even considered possible.