00:02 My name is Rita P I’m the business and community development manager, I work for Catalyst Lend Lease. My job involves ensuring there is societal benefits from our build initiatives such as building schools, building hospitals and building waste plants.
00:19 I’ve worked in skills and employment for over 20 years, for Job Centre plus for the public sector and then I’ve currently now started working in the private sector for the last 3 years. I decided that I really wanted to get a job, so I left school before completing my A levels and I went to work for the DHSS at that point and then from then on I’ve progressed into different roles into front line advisory services to managing a job centre to managing big employment projects and now to the job that I’m doing at the moment.
00:52 Unfortunately my dad passed away when I was 3 so the role models I had in my life really were my mum, my older brother who’s 12 years older than me and my sister. My brother used to sort of play quite an active role in sort of saying to me well maybe you want to go into this field, professional field or the civil service so he did sort of have an influence on my choice really. I think it’s something that sort of does haunt me actually the fact that I can’t remember that, not that I can’t remember what happened but also that I can’t actually remember my father as well.
01:20 You always think sort of well, wonder what he was like and am I like him and what would he have liked me to do and all those kind of things really. I was born here I had my siblings were actually born in India and my parents my mum came from Kenya and my dad was actually born in India, so, had quite a range of sort of you know sort of a mix in my sort of background really. Whereas now I was born here, my kids have been born here so the kind of their generation is different, their thought pattern is different, and the confidence is different as well. They’ve got such an air of confidence it’s fantastic.
01:51 My mother was a very strong person and I remember my mum saying to me that she was just left with £25 and that was it at that time in 1973 and you know if you didn’t know where the next sort of money, lot of money was gonna come from really and she had 3 young children to bring up, and the fact that she just coped and carried on.
02:08 I really enjoy what I do now and what I’ve been doing over the last few years and the experience that I’ve got actually from going into employment straight away was fantastic, I was able to go on day release to college, so was able to sort of study and work at the same time. I always felt that at the time you know you needed to, people were looking for somebody more mature, and also in the civil service you always felt that it was about time, serving time, and if you hadn’t served your time you weren’t ready to be promoted. Whereas I’m hoping that that has actually changed over the last few years and I have benefited from that change.
02:42 I went to school in Darlaston which is actually now quite a deprived area. Currently it’s got quite a high ethnic minority ratio where at the time I attended the school it was predominately a white school and you had the odd, the name calling and, you know but sometimes it wasn’t directly always related to the fact that I was Asian it was it could have been anything really you know. Just the fact that my hair was a funny style or something like that, which it was when I was younger.
03:06 Apart from my mum being a really good strong role model in my life and a constant role model, there’s been a number of team leaders that I’ve worked with that have actually encouraged me and supported me and coached me. I think it’s OK not to know what you want to do at the moment, because I didn’t know when I was 16 whether it was something I really wanted to do, but I think it’s about grabbing every opportunity that you can really. And also believing that you can do it.
03:27 I have 2 children I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, I also unfortunately lost my first child when he was 2 ½ so again that was another experience in my life where, I had a child at the age of 20 that had a health, severe health problem really and he was 2 ½ when he passed away and again, it that’s something else that happened in my life that made me stronger really.
03:52 It’s the worst thing that could happen to anyone really but it was my family network, also friends at work and also the job itself that made me again refocus and think, I needed to just to carry on and move on really. But you never forget what’s happened, but it’s a different coping strategy really.