Andy Phillips finally asked for professional help with reading and writing when he became too embarrassed to keep asking his children to assist with his paperwork.
Since leaving school at 16 with only a basic grasp of reading and writing, he did everything to avoid confronting his problem – taking on a larger share of practical tasks, leaving paperwork to others and avoiding numerous training courses on offer. But with the advent of IT – not an issue for him when he was working as an apprentice 20 years earlier – everything went online, demanding emails for stock control, ordering and receipting.
“Andy used the BBC RaW exercises on the Eastenders and Skillswise interactive CDs,” said his nominator, Tim Whitaker, Training Manager, On Board Services, P&O Ferries, for whom Andy is an on-board Sous Chef. “Once he started there was no stopping him.”
He signed up at the SkillsPlus Adult Learning Centre in Dover and raced through literacy and IT programmes, finally achieving the City & Guilds Workplace Trainer’s qualification, which he uses for the benefit of his whole team.
Andy says his main focus now is to encourage others, just like he was. “I had a great friend and boss who helped me, supported me, encouraged me and believed in me – making me believe in myself.”