Hairdressing to technical support – Sandra’s story

Sandra joined Civica at the beginning of September, under the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Kickstart Scheme, as a technical support engineer.

In only two months, she has become a valuable member of the technical support team. Keep reading to find out more about Sandra…

Originally from Poland, Sandra now lives in Cheshire with her family and Lily (her Persian cat). When she is not manning the technical support helpline, Sandra enjoys socialising with family and friends, particularly clubbing in the local area.

Kickstart scheme

Sandra trained and worked as a hairdresser for 4 years prior to joining the Kickstart scheme.

“I enjoyed and still enjoy hairdressing, but more as a hobby. I was looking for a change and started to look at administration roles. Unfortunately I wasn’t successful. I struggled especially as I didn’t have the qualifications or experience employers were looking for.”

It was during her job search, that the Kickstart Scheme was recommended to Sandra by the local Job Centre. The scheme provided her with an ideal opportunity to explore a new type of employment at an entry level.

At the time, the Job Centre were holding Kickstart employer events, giving potential applicants and employers the opportunity to meet and discuss the types of roles available.

“It was at the Job Centre event, that I met Richard and Sarah, and got to know more about the Technical Engineer role which I hadn’t thought about doing before. Following a further trip to the Nantwich office, I started my new job the following week”

First Week

Sandra’s first week involved a series of training sessions ranging from software familiarisation to cyber security and some of the key skills offered through the Kickstart Scheme.

“I learned many new things which were very different to anything I had done before. I had one very useful transferrable skill; Customer Service, but there has been so much to learn and it is very interesting. I like to take each and every opportunity as it comes, and have really enjoyed everything so far. I have especially enjoyed getting involved with recording help videos for the Point Progress Helpsite, and spending time with the Receipt Validation team, learning about expense claiming.”

After very quickly learning the necessary skills to assist with 1st line support queries, Sandra is now already a familiar voice to our customers.

“Since joining us Sandra has quickly familiarised herself with our systems and procedures and was able to help out on support almost immediately. She is now proving to be a great asset on the service desk, dealing with customers day to day problems and queries” – David Brown, Technical Support Team Lead