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Case Study Spotlight - ESF Pathway Graduate

"I was nervous at the start of this programme but I’ve gained confidence and communication skills."

ESF Pathway Graduate Sam with his certificate

Our Pathway Employability Project launched in May 2022 through the successful bidding of the ESF Community Grants fund, aiming to deliver effective tailored 1-2-1 employability support in a creative and interactive environment that utilises Media & Communication practices as engagement tools for delivery.

The purpose of the project was focused on improving the employability skills of learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds that are unemployed or economically inactive, providing a development bridge to those furthest away from the employment market whilst ensuring participants could then successfully access and sustain future employment, education, or training.

The programme aimed to support them in achieving this by:

  1. Improving their digital, IT, presentational, and written skills through coaching development support.

  2. Improving their social and communication skills using media production and breaking down their barriers to progression through creative expression.

Sam enrolled onto the Open Lens Media Pathway Project in November 2022 via Skills Training UK. Upon enrolment, Sam had been in long-term unemployment and expressed that a barrier to securing and sustaining employment was a lack of direction and support in seeking employment opportunities, alongside a lack of skills, experience, and low confidence in job interviews.

Sam had expressed that he suffered from low confidence and self-esteem and was very nervous on starting his first session of the programme. However, through working with the facilitators and mentors during the programme, Sam engaged positively in sessions to develop both his technical and personal skills including communication skills, presentation skills, teamwork, camera skills, editing skills, podcasting, and research skills.

The sessions were also used to identify goals and his long-term aspirations of becoming an actor. In one particular session, Sam expressed that he was hesitant to perform on camera as he wasn’t comfortable with how he looked on screen. In raising this concern with the session facilitator, Sam was able to speak through his hesitations and overcome them as a potential barrier.

Over the course of the programme, Sam had increased his confidence, communication skills, and interview skills all of which would help him increase the chances of sustaining employment in the future. On completion of the programme, Sam had progressed onto further training to prepare for employment and is now actively involved in job searching and looking into performing arts clubs/programmes to join so that he can develop his acting abilities.



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