It wasn’t easy and I spent a year out of work. But things really started to move for me when I landed a place on a training course through Routes to Work Ltd, an agency which gives extra support to help people find a job. 

There are so many things you don’t know, like where to get help and what to get help with – that’s why Routes to Work Ltd were so good. They helped me receive funding for childcare so I could attend college – they were just amazing.

The course lasted 15 weeks, with six weeks at New College Lanarkshire to learn things like interview skills and how to prepare my CV, followed by a nine-week work placement. I was lucky to be given my placement within the Administration section of Amey Contract based at Eurocentral, Motherwell.

This gave me the chance to show I was capable of learning, had the confidence to work within a team and that I was prepared to work hard. And the experience has really paid off. 

I earned a Certificate of Work Readiness – but even better was being offered the Modern Apprenticeship by the Amey Business Support Manager at the end of my placement. 

I’m now working towards a Business Administration Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 2. I’m using Microsoft packages such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access Databases as well as in-house electronic systems. 

I do photocopying, paper and electronic filing, printing, laminating, binding and shredding. I use Outlook email and also help with diary management, booking meetings, production of meeting packs, and preparation of reports. The list goes on and on and I enjoy it so much.

New College Lanarkshire’s support to me continues through my College Assessor who comes into my workplace every two weeks. She assesses me on the job and provides the necessary help to allow me to collect the evidence that proves I’m fulfilling the requirements for the qualification.  

Taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Scheme is a condition for completing my Amey Modern Apprenticeship. That’ll mean taking part in a few expeditions this year – pretty daunting but also very enjoyable! 

Being a Modern Apprentice has really worked for me. I’m being paid for something I enjoy which helps me to provide for my son and it has given me a great opportunity to gain a worthwhile qualification. 

Everyday I’m receiving really good work experience – I’m not just learning, I’m working with my colleagues and I’m treated as an important member of the team.