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Foundation Skills course gives Jovanka a clean start

By Fiona West | May 13, 2022

A hospital cleaner who improved her English and digital skills through two Navitas Skilled Futures courses in the past 12 months has now gained the ability and confidence to apply for an administrative position at work.

Jovanka Vlaoska has been working as a hospital assistant, mostly cleaning, at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital for eight years. Arriving in Australia from Macedonia in her early 20s, she spoke limited English and never had the opportunity to formally train in computer skills. So when the hospital offered her the chance to enrol in the Foundation Skills for Your Future course with NSF last year, she jumped at the chance.

The first course, designed for hospital staff from diverse backgrounds across customer service, general service and security, targeted language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills. This improved Jovanka’s skills in this area but, more importantly, gave her greater confidence speaking with management, hospital staff and patients.

The latest course, which she completed just this week, focused on Digital Literacy, and has inspired her to use her new skills at work.

Jovanka was one of six participants, who had all completed the initial 20 week LLN Upskilling course last year.

“Both courses helped me so much and I am so grateful to Navitas, and also to my  managers for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow,” Jovanka said.

“I have leaned new skills and have also gained much more confidence to do things and try things I would never have done before.”

Jovanka recently told her manager she would apply for a position as a ward clerk, when a role became available, as she now felt ready to move from cleaning into an administration role.

“I like cleaning and doing a good job for the patients, the staff, for everyone, but it is good to do something else, something new,’’ she said.

The Digital Literacy Course covered a wide range of skills, from using mobile phone apps, tablets and computers to creating, formatting and editing documents, digital security and transferring data.

Jovanka said the outcomes spilled over into everyday life tasks, helping her with searching online, writing messages and emails, making appointments and filling in online forms: “We even learned how to make posters and invitations!”

“It gives you confidence and courage to open the computer and not worry that you will do something wrong because you have a better understanding,” she said.

“It was so helpful after the first course and it has been a big help to me in so many ways.”

People working on laptops with an instructor helping

Navitas Skilled Futures runs regular Foundation Skills for Your Future courses, funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Workplace Training, such as that undertaking by Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, helps businesses give their employees the skills and confidence required to enhance job performance and productivity, and to enjoy their work.

This is a free workplace training program that can be tailored to the needs of each business. The Navitas Skilled Futures team works closely with the business to identify gaps in employee skills and training, allowing for the design and delivery of bespoke training that benefits both the employer and the employee.

For more information see: Foundation Skills for Your Future.

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