I believe I am the third member on the list and remember sending out some
information when I joined. However, it doesn't seem to appear anywhere on
the mailbase, so here I go again.
I came over to UK more than 30 years ago from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with
only secondary school education. However, having spent two years in the
Sixth Form at a Colombo school, I had no problem obtaining 3 A'Levels
through self-study while working at all sorts of manual and routine jobs.
Having obtained my psychology degree from London University in 1971 I was
still driving a van for a living when I happened to become a member of Mensa
in 1973 and as a result had a televised chat with David Dimbleby. Someone
who had recveived a job application from me happened to see me and connected
the name to the face. He/She must have liked what she/he saw that I
underwent another battery of tests and was selected as a research assistant
at the ITRU Cambridge. My career in occupational psychology began there.
I have since worked in Zambia (75/78) as a psychologist and on return to UK
gained my Birkbeck Occ Psych M.Sc which enabled me to work with the Manpower
Services Commission/Training Agency at an employment rehabilitation centre
for the disabled and disadvantaged (81/90).
Having spent a few years struggling to make a living as a solo practitioner
psychologist, I was lucky enough to be invited to establish, on a greenfield
site, in 1996, what now has become the Vocational Assessment Centre of the
Royal British Legion Industries in Aylesford, Kent. I now have another
psychologist, and between us we see about 150 disabled ex-Servicemen and
women a year.
This is very rewarding work, where these people are helped towards
acquiring academic and vocational qualifications prior to returning a
productive civilian work life. I believe that individual counselling even
more than psychometric testing is at the heart of the success of our work.
There is write-up in the 1998 August 'The Occupational Psychologist' and the
Spring 1998 issue of 'Assessment Matters'.
I am also on the BPS Standing Committee for the Protection of Equal
Opportunities and its representative on the newly-formed BPS Ethics
Committee. Currently I am writing a book for the Open University press on
Counselling in Careers Guidance and would be grateful for any contributions
on counselling practice. I have already contacted Michelle Lefevre over eq
opps issues and find her work most helpful in my role as member of the BPS
SCPEO. Thanks Michelle.