Twenty-two-year-old Emily tells us how she gained a job thanks to the skills she learned and the employer connections she made during her time at Edinburgh College.
“I didn’t really enjoy school and struggled with studying due to having a disability which was only discovered when I was 16. I was given the opportunity, through my school, to attend the College’s Preparation for Employment course and even though I wasn’t very confident it sounded like something which would help me to become more independent and hopefully get a job – so I thought why not?
I was nervous at first about meeting new people and going to college but I soon settled in and really began to enjoy it. As part of the course I did work experience at a Day Care Centre supporting elderly people and people with complex needs. I never imagined I’d be able to do something like that but as my confidence grew and I learned more, I really felt like I’d found something I was good at.
During my time on the course and on work experience, I developed my people and communication skills which I now use every day in my permanent job.
After I finished the course I moved on to Project Search, a partnership project between Edinburgh College and employers, which helps young people like me get into the world of work.
As part of Project Search, I did three internships with the NHS. I was supported by a job coach throughout my internships which really helped when I had questions to ask or needed guidance. The training I had was great and I really enjoyed working with the other staff at the hospital.
I worked as a porter which involves delivering food to patients on the wards, transferring patients around the hospital and helping patients and staff on a day-to-day basis.
When my internship was coming to an end a permanent job became available so I decided to go for it – I would never have had the confidence to do that if I hadn’t been to college. The interview skills I learned on the course really came in handy and I was offered the job permanently. I am one of only two porters at the hospital and I was offered the job on International Women’s Day!
Now, I’m so much more confident, I’m really proud of what I do and love working with all kinds of people every day.”