From education to employment

Coventry student Asha wins major award after returning to education after 30 years

Andy Street, Asha Kaur and Nicholas Bailey

A Coventry woman has been honoured at a West Midlands awards ceremony after going back to college in search of a new career.

Coventry College student Asha Kaur, 55, has won the Step Into Learning award at the inaugural West Midlands Adult Learning Awards at a ceremony at Conference Aston, Birmingham.

Standing out among hundreds of nominees, the Coventry resident who currently works in health and safety picked up the award after making a successful return to formal education for the first time in 30 years to pursue a career in HR.

Asha has been studying CIPD Level 3 Foundation in People Practice course at Coventry College to help her make the transition.

The ceremony was hosted by Birmingham born actor, research fellow, writer and coach, Nicholas Bailey, and showcased the impact of WMCA-funded adult learning, skills, and training courses, and celebrated the contribution that adult learning makes to the West Midlands.

Other award categories included Inspirational Adult Learner; Learning for Work; Inspirational Tutor of the Year; Innovative Delivery; Successful Partnership; Engaging Adults in Learning; Community Learning Provider of the Year; Large Employer of the Year and Small and Medium-Sized Employer of the Year.

Asha said: “I’m really proud to have won this award. I feel that I should have started this learning journey earlier and not been afraid. It has made a difference to me personally and professionally.

“I have been out of my comfort zone doing this course and it was challenging at times, but well worth it. It has been an ideal opportunity to learn and grow whilst gaining new skills.

“At work I am more confident and able to offer my thoughts to HR and Management. They also take me more seriously and see that I have gained knowledge. My family and friends also see how confident and have more self-esteem.”

Coventry College Business Lecturer Aysha Anwar said:

“Asha deserves this award as it was difficult for her entering education as a mature adult and learning how to write assignments. There has been a vast improvement in her assignments style and writing.

“She has worked hard and shown dedication and has overcome a lack confidence and self-belief, which is amazing.

“Asha also implements the learning into her workplace and offers them advice and guidance on how to improve the workplace. She is a credit to her organisation.”

To find out more about Asha’s story click here.

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