Julian Hayward
An interview with former Upskill Learner Julian in which he describes his experience of returning to education

What has your experience of education been like in the past?
I had very little in the way of education in the past. It wasn’t until I was made redundant back in 2009 that I realised just how hard it is to look for employment if you don’t have the correct skill-set or the qualifications required by employers.

Why did you decide to come to LCAES?

Funnily enough it was for a photography course at the time. This was one of my hobbies, and I had just changed over from a film camera to digital. I had no knowledge of photographic software such as Adobe Photoshop and was keen to learn how to use it.  I enrolled to do the part-time evening course on digital photography. From that day onwards, I was hooked on learning more about creative multimedia and decided that this was the new career path to take. I carried on to do a 2 year part-time course in Creative Media FETAC level 5 major award (Back to education scheme), which I successfully completed. Overall I am very proud to say that I have come out with 9 Distinctions, 2 Merits and 2 passes.

How did you find your time here?

I found everybody in LCAES very friendly and helpful, which enabled me to stay focused and motivated while learning new skills and making new friends. It was also easier to learn in a smaller classroom environment, as tutors had more time to spend on individuals. This was especially important for people like me who had been out of education for many years.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing a course here?
I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you have little or no education and would like to learn more, achieve your goals and improve your chances of employment in the near future. It’s also about about self-esteem and building up self-confidence. You are encouraged to be pro-active. You also know that you are not alone, as everyone comes from different backgrounds, but we all share a common goal in rebuilding our lives for a better future.The other good thing about LCAES is that there are a wide range of courses available from basic computing skills to graphic design courses.

What are you doing at the moment?
At present I am a full-time student at LCFE doing Advanced Multimedia & Web Development at FETAC level 6

What are your future plans?
When I finish with college at the end of May 2014, I am planning on seeking employment or an internship in multimedia development at a junior level. I will probably continue doing part-time courses just to keep up with technology, as it forever changes.

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