Bill Murphy - Functional Skills Trainer


[Trainers and Assessors]

I have been working in adult and further education for around 15 years mainly in colleges and the local authority. I started working for Baltic after I decided I wanted a new challenge and the style of learning that Baltic deliver really excited me.

Before getting into teaching in my late twenties I did a range of jobs mainly in construction and in various countries. I have had some unusual jobs from picking bananas in Australia, selling oil paintings (seriously!) and erecting marquees. However since completing my degree in Anthropology at Durham University in my late twenties I have mainly worked in the education sector in a range of roles. After completing my degree I started work as an ICT tutor at Sunderland College where I began my teaching qualification. From there I went onto work for Newcastle College where I completed my Certificate of Education with a specialism in Maths.

While there I also conducted a diploma in Effective Practice in Offender Learning and Skills while I worked with offender leaners at Durham Prison. From there I went onto work for Durham County Council’s Learning and Skills Service for seven years. During this time I also achieved the A1 Assessors Award and Level 3 in ICT. While there I conducted several roles from Maths tutor and Internal Verifier for adult learners and apprentices. I was also Learning Co-coordinator for South Durham for a time before the local authority had a restructure. From then I went on to deliver Team Leading, Management, Health and Safety and Functional Skills to apprenticeship and work based learners.

I’m a people person and I believe my greatest skill to be communication. I believe I have the ability to get the best out of people by building rapport and sharing my knowledge.

Working at Baltic

I have been with Baltic since November 2018 so I’m still relatively new but enjoying the challenge.

I’m responsible for delivering Functional Skills course via the online live system to apprenticeship learners. I also have the pleasure of travelling various parts of the country where I facilitate tests when the learners when they are ready to take their exams. It’s great to build the relationship with the learners on the webinar and then meet them in person. I have a caseload of around 60 learners who require a qualification in English, Maths or ICT so it’s upbeat. I enjoy delivering on the online live system, it’s a great way to teach and learn as it breaks down barriers, is efficient and is highly effective.

Of course it’s always great to see learners develop and achieve but what I like most about the role is the variety. I like the balance of delivering courses on the online system and travelling to various places and meeting the learners face to face. Seeing them achieve is the icing on the cake. There is so much I’ve learned but there’s also so much more to learn and that excites me about the role.

My favourite memory is getting some really positive feedback from the apprentices in my first few months here really motivated me.

My role hasn’t changed too much since I started last year but during that time I’ve spent time adapting to and learning a new system having been used to classroom and work based face to face learning. However there are big changes afoot in relation to Functional Skills. From September 2019 the FS framework is changing and our team have been preparing for those changes over the last 4 months in order to be ready to roll out the new delivery timetable when it rolls out in the next academic year.

#1 Item on Bucket List

This is a dream but my son and I would love to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town. I’d love to travel through Africa.

Interesting Fact

I cook a mean Chicken Madras!

Greatest Achievement

Greatest achievement? It’s got to be teaching my eldest son how to fold a towel properly. It took me seventeen years, I never gave in, and now he can do it! We had a party. We now have dry towels : ) Persistence beats resistance!

Hobbies and Interests

I love spending time with my family. We go on walks with our dog. My youngest son and I have just started mountain biking which is great.On Saturday mornings I play football for Durham County Over 40s. We also train on a Thursday night. We got promoted last year and we’re aiming for another promotion this season.I’m currently training for the 2019 great North Run. Of course, I also love good food and socialising with friends and family. Travelling is also a hobby of mine. I love exploring new places, home or abroad.

Observation Grading


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