A digital marketer from Colwyn Bay who found his dream job after being made redundant, is encouraging others to take advantage of the free career coaching and financial support for training available to people in Wales.
David Burnell, 63, is now working in a new role for a luxury golf travel company after being made redundant earlier this year.
He credits his success to the ReAct+ programme, which provided him with free careers advice and a £1,500 grant to go on a training course to expand his skillset.
The ReAct+ programme, which is funded by Welsh Government, provides people who have been made redundant or are at risk of redundancy with a personalised package of support to meet their individual needs.
David explained: “I’ve always loved working on websites, and I’d built up my skills since the early 90s, but up to now I’ve had a sense of ‘imposter syndrome’ and sometimes doubted my own skills.
“When I was made redundant due to a restructure at my previous company, I spoke to Working Wales who paired me with Catrin Owen, a careers adviser. I was feeling worried about the prospect of having to find a new job given my age and whether younger candidates might have an edge on the latest technology and qualifications.
“Speaking to Catrin about my experience and the type of role I wanted to continue working in was so valuable as she helped me put together a plan and showed me all the funding that was available through the ReAct+ programme.”
After working through all the options, David chose a course that would help him to gain a professional qualification in analysing website traffic and engagement to help boost his CV and gain a deeper understanding of the latest trends in the industry.
David continued: “The course helped me to develop my skills and realise that I had been underestimating myself.
“I think what’s great about ReAct+ is that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, the course I attended was in London and additional funding meant that I got help with my travel expenses. Not only did I get funding for the course, but for travel too – it’s touches like that which make a big difference when you’ve been made redundant and are feeling worried.
“My careers adviser knew what course was going to give me the best chance, and they invested in me. Feeling that support and faith in me really went a long way during what was a difficult time and it meant I was able to find a new permanent role quickly.”
ReAct+ offers people personalised support to overcome their barriers into work including financial support, training and practical support to help them build their confidence, interview technique and CV writing skills. Each candidate is assigned an expert careers adviser, who creates an action plan tailored to the type of help they need to get back into work.
“Not only do I have a new job now, but I’m a lot happier, more confident in my skills and I’m thriving in my role. There was a real silver-lining after being made redundant thanks to the support I received.
“I’ve really grown into my new role using the skills I’ve learnt, and I’m now working with people that really appreciate my contribution to the company, it’s great to see the company expand and be a part of that success.
“Meeting with a careers adviser was so helpful and I felt like I had a great mentor who was on my side. When you’re going through a period of uncertainty, it’s really encouraging to get guidance from career experts, so I’d encourage anyone in a situation like mine to reach out for help.”
ReAct+ supports those who are out of work or under a notice of redundancy by providing them with a free personalised package of employment support that includes advice and guidance, or funding for training.