Andrea Powell – Sandwell Startship 2021

Andrea completed our Startship programme in Sandwell last year and is now employed at Amazon. We had a chat with Andrea to sum up her feelings pre, during and post her Startship programme.

What were you doing before you started the programme?
Andrea had worked at Amazon for one year and three months but was released as her contract came to an end. Her role had involved sorting products for delivery and receiving items from the main delivery. Since then, she had been unemployed and job searching for eight months before taking her Startship.

How did you find out about the training?
Andrea’s Work Coach told her about the course, explaining it would be a great opportunity to learn new skills, improve her CV, and possibly find employment.

Why did you decide to join?
“I didn’t need much persuading as I’m always happy to learn new things that can help me. I’m also quite a shy person and thought it would help with my people skills.”

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
Andrea said, “I didn’t know what to expect from the first two days of the course, but it was fun, got us all engaged, and ready to learn something new. It also got me talking to people!
There was a lot to do on the course, but we got a lot of support. The tutors broke things down into manageable chunks. It was helpful being able to contact the tutors out of traditional delivery time to keep me on track when I was unsure of things. Overall, it was a good experience.”
Andrea said the Market Place events were useful in that they helped her get a better awareness of roles that were available locally. She attended a Market Place with West Midlands Metro and said things could have been different had it not been for a call from her previous manager at Amazon the day after, as a new opportunity had arisen.

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“I’ve never been keen on speaking to people! I’m quite shy, and the course helped me to open up more. I suppose I became more of a people person!”

What are you doing now?
“I back working at Amazon working as a Warehouse Operative. After the morning brief, I get my duties for the day, which can include picking, receiving or stowing. Targets are set within each of these categories to achieve. I’m enjoying my role and the shifts I work.”

What impact has the training had on your life?
“The Startship made me grow in confidence, and I gained a better understanding of various things including using spreadsheets and how businesses work.”

What are your plans for the future?
Andrea is enjoying her current role with Amazon. However, she does have an ambition to ultimately go to University and study for a career in midwifery.
“Whatever the future holds, my confidence is up.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“I would say go for it, the course gave me a new experience, and the opportunity to learn new things that improved my CV and how I look to prospective employers.”

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