A better life for Mary, 19-year-old mother, who benefited from the Reskilling Programme
My name is Mary Basset, a mother of a 2-year-old boy. I started my schooling at the Cascade Primary School form Créche to P6 and I did my secondary S1 to S5 at the Pointe Larue Secondary School.
After completion, I did not succeed to further my studies at a Professional Centre as I did not meet the criteria. I tried to appeal at the Seychelles Tourism Academy but unfortunately, my baby was only 7 months old at that time and my case was rejected.
I did not lose hope and went to register at the Ministry of Employment and Civil Status on 19 February 2019 to join the Skills Development Programme. I preferred to undertake training as Office Assistant or Receptionist.
After only one month, I obtained a call to attend an interview at the Employment Department. When I arrived on the 4th Floor at the Independence House Annex and waited for my turn to be interviewed. I met other applicants who were also coming to the interview. I was a little scared, as I did not have much self-confidence. During the interview, I tried to remain calm and answer the questions being asked. I was not certain that I had done well but to my surprise after 2 days, I got feedback that I had been chosen for the training position of Office Assistant.
I started on-the-job training on 1 April 2020. In the beginning, it was quite hard for me to adapt to the working environment, as I had never worked before. I struggled a lot to understand the office procedures and applying all that I was being taught. At times, I got discouraged as I found the tasks quite complicated but with lots of encouragement and support from my colleagues, I managed to remain determined and overcome the challenges.
Luckily, late last year I got the opportunity to attend the Prepare for Work Programme, which was hosted by the Guy Morel Institute. The classes were held twice and at times three times per week over 2 months. There were three cycles. The first one was entitled Personal Development and it covered topics such as mind-set change, personal awareness and behavioral change. The second cycle started during the last week of October 2020 under the title of Professional Development and it comprised of topics such as career development, professional ethics, business etiquette and Information Technology. The final cycle was entitled Entrepreneurial Development and it focused on topics such as Careers Development & Entrepreneurship, Innovation in Entrepreneurship & Marketing. The programme ended on 11 December 2020.
I have personally benefited immensely and I have gained a lot more knowledge and skills, which I lacked before. I have developed more responsibility and I am more committed towards my job.
Furthermore, it has changed my way of thinking completely, ever since then, I always think positively and wisely before making any major decisions. In addition, the programme educated me more about the world of work, it has taught me how to seek for a job and keep a job. I get the opportunity everyday to share what I have learnt with other people. I am always giving advice to my friends or relatives who are lacking good work ethics.
Other than the Prepare for Work Programme, I also managed to attend a short course in Office Procedures Level 1 at Seychelles Institute of Distance and Open Learning, which I really appreciated. I gained more knowledge in Office Procedures, which I put into practice at work. It helped me a lot since there are some procedures I was not applying. The courses enabled me to grow in all aspects of office procedures. I am now more knowledgeable, dependable, responsible and reliable to work in an office.
I am currently working at PSM Dental as an Assistant Secretary, in which I am utilizing all the skills and knowledge that I have gathered in these courses. Information gained in the Prepare for Work Programme is helping me in my everyday life and at work. I was more confident when I attended the job interview and I did extremely well compared to before. It also help me to be a role model to other teenage mothers. Furthermore, the skills gathered at the Office Procedures Course is aiding me in my line of work in which I can better manage my time and meet deadlines.
I can strongly affirm that both courses has enormously assisted me to develop my character as a person. I am glad I got such opportunities and deep down I want to thank the ILO for their generosity and I am hoping that other young people after me will take such chance when the need arises.