From education to employment

Blackpool singer delighted skills charity opened new career doors

Inspira, which works with employers and a range of organisations across the north of England to solve local skills shortages, invest in young people and reduce unemployment in targeted areas, is well-known for helping people develop skills to secure better employment.

The skills charity is expanding its own team and recent recruit Amy is an advocate of what doors a career with Inspira can open.

With the entertainment industry hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Amy’s mum inspired her to take a Business Administration course.

Amy, who attended Hodgson Academy before moving on to Blackpool School of Arts to study Performing Arts, applied to a Business Administration Apprenticeship with Inspira five months ago and hasn’t looked back.

Inspira, which offers careers guidance for people in Lancashire and Cumbria, was in the unique position of not only being able to help Amy find work, but having a job available to offer her on its own team as a Business Administration Apprentice.

Amy said:

“I wanted to do something that I 100% love, and this definitely suits me. There’s such a good, positive energy from the team. They support everyone’s needs – it’s not just a job.

“I’d recommend Inspira to anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do. I’ve seen people come to Inspira from all walks of life.

“They give additional support and a team talk every day about mental health. It’s a great place to work.”

Inspira offers a range of support for employees including debt and financial support and bereavement support.

It also offers a selection of courses for those who choose to continue studying. This includes the opportunity to complete Maths and English GCSEs for those who want to finish their studies.

Louisa Graham, Inspira HR Manager, said:

“What we are finding from those who have joined Inspira recently is that we are attracting people from a range of different sectors and backgrounds.

“We have opportunities for all stages of careers. From apprenticeships in business admin, IT, and marketing through to graduate trainees, to those over 50 who are looking for a new challenge.”

Louisa also says there are specific circumstances due to the pandemic where people, especially those who have left school in the last couple of years, might not be aware of the career opportunities which are available.

“We hear about a lot of young people who have stopped looking for other jobs because they have gone into full-time, low-skilled work. We can help show there are other options out there available to them.”

Amy logs her own career journey at Inspira on social media (@InspiraAmyB on Twitter) where she discusses balancing work, college and a social life.

Amy takes part in singing competitions and performs as regularly as she can do, with the support from her Inspira colleagues.

Rachael Slater, Area Operations Manager and Amy’s Manager, said:

“The Blackpool Inspira team love nothing more than getting together to support Amy at her singing competitions.”

While Amy still has her sights set on a career in the entertainment industry, her role at Inspira has opened her eyes to different future career opportunities.

Amy said: “My dream was to start my own agency, to work on TV and end up acting in a BBC drama. But now I’d like to work in management at an events company.

“Right now, though, I am really enjoying my time at Inspira and working with such a great team. They aren’t just supporting what I do at Inspira, they are supporting me, my hobbies and my dreams.”

Inspira, which operates across Lancashire and Cumbria, is looking to expand its own team with a range of opportunities available.

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