“I’ve been able to combine my dream of working in childcare with my love of sports”
Paige Sullivan-Weedon, 19, from Cardiff struggled to find a job that complemented her skills, interests and limited qualifications; but after finding a placement through the Employability Skills Programme she is on her way to achieving her dream of working with children.
Paige said: “I left school due to illness when I was 17 so I didn’t get to finish my A Levels. When I was feeling better I started looking for work, but after a year of searching I still hadn’t found anything that was right for me.
“I’ve always wanted to work with either children or elderly people, ideally doing something related to sports or coaching because that’s what I was best at in school.
“I had a few interviews but the jobs weren’t related to what I wanted to do – I was determined to find something that was related to my career aspirations and not just settle for any job.
Getting back on the horse
“My Job Centre case worker could see that I was struggling to find a position that fitted with my skills and interests so they put me in touch with a local training provider.
“After a conversation, my training provider suggested that I try the Employability Skills Programme as a way of gaining some on-the-job experience in the areas I was interested in. They listened to the reasons why I was struggling to find a job, asked me what I was looking for and started searching for placements that might be suitable for me.
“The work placement I secured at Planet Gymnastics is perfect. It combines my dream of working in childcare with my love of sports and gives me the opportunity to draw on my existing skills in trampolining and gymnastics to help coach the children.
Jumping for joy
“The job is very high energy and hard work. I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of everything from helping with classes and supervising games of football to cleaning and filling out paper work, but it suits my personality and I’m really enjoying it. I’m looking forward to having more opportunities to work with the children one-on-one and helping to run the holiday club over the summer.
“Taking part in this placement has confirmed that I want to continue working with children. I’ve already learned a lot about what a career in childcare would involve, including the admin and cleaning side of things, and I know that the placement with Planet Gymnastics has provided me with valuable, practical experience that will help me to kick-start my career in the future.
“Some of the children have already said that I’m one of their favourite coaches so I must be doing something right!”
Unemployed and looking for work?
The Employability Skills Programme is designed around you and offers high quality work placements and specific training to help you build the confidence, skills and experience you need to get a job.
Need help to find out what support is available?
Want to gain more skills? Looking for help to find work? Employment Routes is a directory of programmes across Wales that could help you increase your skills and find a job.
Want to work with children?
If you have a responsible attitude, patience, good communication skills and enjoy working with children then a career in childcare could be for you.
Want to work in Sport and Leisure?
Sport and Leisure covers a lot of areas like, sport and recreation, health and fitness, the outdoors and visitor attractions so the job opportunities are waiting for you!