From education to employment

Seetec partnership supports women returning to work

As working parents juggle with the demands of the six-week school holidays, a successful business start-up programme is helping women to achieve flexible careers that fit around their family lives.

Employment and skills specialist Seetec has teamed up with London-based training provider, Successful Mums.

Delivering programmes funded through the Adult Education Budget, the partnership has so far resulted in 24 women following their entrepreneurial dreams by attending start-up workshops. These cover topics including business planning, marketing, social media and finance. The course gives learners access to industry guest speakers, one-to-one coaching and a network of like-minded women.

Carrie Williamson is realising her dream of setting up her own luxury travel business after completing the six-week course. Having worked in cabin crew and travel consultant roles before starting her family, she said: “It’s something I’m passionate about – but I needed something that offered flexibility and this is the perfect solution.”

Her second son was only three months old when she started the course, which gave her the confidence to set up her bespoke travel and concierge service, working on a self-employed basis using The Holiday Fixer brand.

Carrie, who lives near Croydon, explained: “I learnt a lot about understanding my core values, building my own brand and understanding my customers’ needs. My aim is to make people feel special and valued and help them to create lifelong memories and experiences.

“It will take a lot of dedication and hard work, but it has pushed me to start up my business and I will be able to work around school hours.”

Qualified Yoga teacher Priya Karia from Chislehurst (pictured) has also gained the confidence to step up her business after being inspired by the motivational speakers and networking opportunities of the course.

Priya said: “I had found myself a bit isolated and at a crossroads. The course has helped me to develop more of a market presence, especially using social media, as well as using business tools and spreadsheets. It’s given me the confidence to ask questions and seek advice and I’m now working on plan to set up a business in the health and wellness industry delivering accessible yoga classes to those that most need it.”

Priya has a teenage daughter and also needed the flexibility of working around school hours. She said the course being funded was a bonus and encouraged other women seeking fresh ideas or a career change to explore the opportunity.

Successful Mums, which scooped Best Partner at the 2019 Employment Related Services Organisation (ERSA) Employability Awards, has supported thousands of women back to work through its training programmes and partner connections.

Founder Jane Knight said, “Working in partnership creates new ideas, increases reach and ultimately supports more women back to work.”

Seetec has a long history of working collaboratively with like-minded organisations to support people in achieving their career goals.

Andi McGregor, Head of Adult Education and Traineeships at Seetec, said, “Successful Mums is just one example of how partnership working can help us reach out to niche groups and provide opportunities that enable individuals to make positive changes.”

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