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Learning at Work Week 2024: Q&A with Digital Skills Learner, Kerry Hague

As part of our #LearningatWorkWeek 2024 celebrations, we caught up with retired Primary School Teacher, Kerry Hague who has recently completed the part-time Level 1 Essential Digital Skills course to help her to update her skills for her brand-new career in the community. Here, she chats to us about how she's now feeling empowered to share her new-found skills with local residents.

Q. Why did you choose to return to education to study the Essential Digital Skills course?

A. I was a teacher for 30 years, and upon my retirement, I felt that I needed to improve my digital skills. I always felt that during my career that my skills in this area had not progressed at the same pace as others around me, so this course really appealed to me. I also wanted to study a course that would mean physically going out to college and meeting new people. The course has also benefited me in my new part-time job as a Support and Activities Worker at Stone Community Hub. I’m able to pass on the knowledge that I have learnt that is current and relevant, so it’s a great feeling to be helping others.

Q. Stepping into college on your first day. How did you feel?

A. Perhaps because I had been a teacher, I felt OK on my first day as I was in my comfort zone to a degree. I really wanted to develop my IT skills, so I was very focused on learning and getting the most I could from the course. I can see why some people may feel nervous, but studying alongside other adults is nothing to be worried about.

Q. What has been the most positive aspect of studying in college as an adult learner?

Definitely the learning environment at NSCG. The college is amazing! Everyone on the course felt valued and wanted to get involved. We supported each other and learnt new skills which was incredible. The conversations we had throughout the course covered many areas of life and much more and really made the course such a positive experience.

Q. What was the biggest challenge of returning to education as an adult learner?

A. Learning is always a challenge, but I’ve seen this as a positive challenge and that is exactly how it felt during the course. I really looked forward to each area we covered.


Q. How did your tutor help you to succeed?

A. The support I received was such a positive experience. The atmosphere that Min created was the perfect balance for adult learners as we really bounced off each other. Nothing was too much trouble.

Q. How has studying this course at NSCG changed your life?

A. I now feel braver and more confident when experimenting with my digital skills. I can apply my learning in my person life such as creating Excel spreadsheets to help me to budget my finances. In terms of work, I get to apply the skills I’ve learnt to help others to feel empowered to learn a new skill.

Q. Has studying at NSCG given you a thirst for learning?

A. Definitely! I will keep up with my new skills at home and in the workplace using my new-found IT skills. So far in my new employment, I have been able to work alongside Min Charlesworth from NSCG’s Multiply programme to support clients at Stone Community Hub, which is something I can see developing further. I have decided to study the online Level 1 Award in Mental Health Awareness course with NSCG to widen my understanding of this subject area, which again will be a brilliant addition to my developing skills.

Q. Finally, what would you say to other adults in your position who are considering taking ‘the leap’ back into education or training?

A. Go for it! You’re never too old or too young to learn. Follow your interests as that is always a good starting point in finding a course that interests you. There are lots of relevant career courses on offer to help you to get the job you want or to build on the skills you may already have. It’s so refreshing to learn without fear, to make new friends – we’ve made mistakes together and have had fun doing so. That’s what life is about and the confidence I’ve gained is priceless.

If you've been inspired by Kerry' story, find out more about studying a part-time adult course at NSCG