Employability Advice: Interview with Antonio Ortega, professional from New Challenge
As of January 2018, employment and training specialist New Challenge, is offering at Latin American House employment and careers guidance support for our users. This includes support on topics such as preparing CVs and cover letters, applying to recruitment agencies and improving presentation and preparation skills for job interviews.
We spoke with Antonio Ortega, the human resources professional from New Challenge who is leading this service, to find out more about what it has to offer.
Antonio, what does the New Challenge offer and provide?
We provide information, advice and guidance to help people make decisions about their education, training and work. It is a service funded by the Government Department of Education and is free.
Can you give us some concrete examples of the kind of help that the service offers to the community?
We give guidance and information when someone, for example:
1. Wants to change their current job, but doesn’t know their sector so well and/or what kinds of documents (e.g. CVs, cover letters) they need to make that change.
2. Studied at university in their country of origin towards a certain career and wants to continue with that same career in the United Kingdom.
3. Wants to start an under or post-graduate course at a UK university but lacks information with regards the requirements to apply and enter that course.
4. Wants to change jobs, but needs vocational assistance to help figure out what work they would be most suited to them.
What does the work plan made with each user consist of?
Each person using our service will have the opportunity to spend a session, lasting approximately around one hour, with one of our advisers to work together to prepare a specific work plan. This plan will set out the actions that need to be carried out to realise and meet the goals they want to achieve.
In your opinion, what are the main barriers that Latin Americans face to entering the labour market in England?
I would say the first is confidence, having the confidence in oneself to really believe that they can achieve their goals.
The second barrier is people not having the ability to find a job through not knowing how to write a CV or Cover Letter, or what training courses they should attend. It also includes not having the skills needed to get through an interview however this last ability is often not present even in people who were born in the United Kingdom.
Finally, what advice can you give to those who are beginning their career path in London?
Think of what is the ideal job for you, there are many opportunities in this city and although in some cases it would take more time than in others to find it, those who have a goal always go further.