Ceredigion resident, Batool Raza, worked as a lecturer teaching Art and Design in Pakistan. Her hope was she could use all her skills, knowledge and experience to help her continue lecturing in Wales.

However, Batool did not have UK teaching qualifications or work experience and this prevented her from entering the UK education sector.

Batool needed to get a UK teaching qualification. A mother of two and the main carer for her children, Batool was not in a financial position to fund a teaching course.

She contacted Ceredigion County Council’s Workways+ team, the service that helps people into work through 1-1 mentoring, funded training and introductions to employers. Workways+ assigned Batool an Employment Mentor, Alison Ellis Jones, to help her develop employment skills and an Employer Liaison Officer, Catrin Davies, to help get her opportunities to speak to employers.

With Batool’s work experience lecturing, the education sector was the first choice for job opportunities. Workways+ searched for a training course which would help Batool apply for lecturing positions.

A two year PGCE Teaching Training Course was identified and Workways+ was able to fund the course. Workways+ also arranged for Batool to teach screen printing three hours per week at Dysgu Bro, Adult Community Learning for UK work experience.

Batool has now successfully completed her PGCE Teaching Training Course and secured employment with support from Workways+.

Batool Raza said: “I have been working with New Directions as a supply teacher since I finished my PGCE. I have worked and gained experience from teaching at different schools like Plascrug Primary, Penglais, Henry Richard, Aberaeron Secondary, Borth and St Padarn. I have also displayed my artwork at ‘A refugee in Aberystwyth’ exhibition for which I was interviewed by the BBC Art show. I am also teaching a silk painting workshop at the art centre. Thank you Workways+ for your support and encouragement. I am trying to give all I can back to the community and guide them the best I can.”

Councillor Wyn Thomas, Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, said: “Many congratulations to Batool on your fantastic achievement and for pursuing your dreams of teaching art and sharing your skills and talents with our learners. This again is a wonderful example of the support available through Workways+ and we are proud of everything Batool has achieved.”

Workways+ is part funded by European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. To contact your local office, visit Workways+