Learning on furlough – and securing a dream job on returning to work

Leah Collins‘Furlough’ wasn’t a word many of us were familiar with before April, but since the government introduced their scheme to help employers retain workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, 9.5 million people are currently furloughed from their jobs. 

Like thousands of other employers, Just R needed to release a couple of staff for a few weeks while the government scheme was in action. And so, like millions of other people, our apprentice Leah was placed on furlough.

And while many furloughed staff are making the most of their time off by indulging in pastimes – baking, making the most of the good weather, or watching a boxset – Leah decided to use the time to learn new skills which would set her apart when she returned to work.

As an apprentice, Leah has been able to experience several aspects of the business, but with time to reflect, felt that a career in design was the way forward.

“Prior to my apprenticeship I enjoyed creating post designs for clients,” she explains. “When I joined Just R, I got to experience post designs and processes far above my self-taught ability.”

“This interested me greatly but I was unsure if I was capable of creating something so good with no prior experience. I then decided that during my furlough it was time for me to up-skill myself ready for my return to work.” 

Leah took it upon herself to explore the full functionality of the Adobe Suite, which she had access through thanks to her training at the Juice Academy as part of her apprenticeship.

“After learning the basics of photoshop with Juice, I started to look into other aspects of Adobe, especially illustrator which I have started to teach myself and progressed greatly,” says Leah.

During furlough and on her return to work, Leah continued her training with the Juice Academy to improve her photoshop skills. She also took on some voluntary work with communications coach Kate Cocker, to learn the processes involved with podcast editing. 

“I am very excited to continue to develop my skills and learn even more alongside my colleagues who are experts within this field.”

Thanks to Leah’s fantastic motivation and aptitude for design, she has returned to work with Just R in a more design-focused role, joining our team of expert creative graphic designers.

We’re so pleased to have you back Leah, and we can’t wait to see where your enthusiasm for learning takes you!

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