Mark and Andi get job security thanks to college course

Two adults looking for a career change have secured employment thanks to a course at South Essex College which is free for the unemployed.

Mark Robinson and Andi Coombe, both from Southend, studied the iLearn Security Multiple Level Award course and are now employed by Stambridge Security.

ILearn courses are free to those in receipt of certain unemployment benefits and are a quick way of gaining industry-based qualifications in a wide range of subjects.

Mark had spent his life as an artist, but after the death of his mum three years ago he wanted to do something that helped people. Andi was a hairdresser, but she left school early without any qualifications and her early job experiences knocked her confidence.

Both enrolled on to the short 17-day course where they gained the skills and qualifications they needed for employment.

Mark said he hasn’t looked back since doing the course.

He said: “I wanted to get my SIA Security badge which would give me many more options for job opportunities and it was suggested that I apply to do an iLearn Security course at South Essex College. 

“The tutors were amazing and made you feel comfortable right from the start. They managed to bring out something in me that I think had always been there but just needed a push.”

Andi agreed and added: “Going to the college is the fastest and best way to get a badge.

“The course really brought out my people skills and I finished feeling much more confident . I am definitely a bit more extrovert which allows me to deal with people much better.”

Mark and Andi have both gone on to working full-time for Stambridge Security doing a wide range of stewarding and security jobs which range from big events such as concerts and festivals to security work for large and small businesses and charities.

Jamie Spiers, Stambridge Director, said the course was a fantastic way to get the qualifications to enter the industry.

He said: “The course equips people with the skills employers in this field look for which is obviously extremely important.

“To have people come to us with a SIA licence among other skills makes them ideal candidates.”

Courses are available in a number of areas including childcare, forklift, health & social care, hospitality, accounting, office skills, IT, and goods vehicle driver (CPC). 

For more information about these courses, visit or contact the Workforce Adult Skills team on or call 01702 220409