Paula began her journey with the Prince’s Trust on recommendation from ‘Action for Employment.’
Paula started her career at a Tyre Depot Centre, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. This experience she gained at just 16 years old set her on a pathway to progress in her career and achieve her ambitions of being a fully qualified mechanic.
The Prince‘s Trust Scheme, for Paula, was something she had never heard about, and didn’t realise that these incredible opportunities were available to her, on her doorstep.
Throughout the Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Cars’ programme, Paula continued to excel, and caught the attention of the examiners with her evident level of potential and natural flair for the increasingly difficult skills being taught on the course.
Being the only girl on the course meant Paula was under increased scrutiny from her fellow course mates but she never failed to achieve the challenge that was set before her, and much much more.“When the opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands.”
Throughout the course, the students were taught an array of different vocational skills needed to begin their careers as mechanics.
“My favourite part of the training was welding, and making the models out of nuts and bolts. I proved to myself that I could make something out of nothing.”
Arnold Clark works closely with GTG and the Prince’s Trust to give the students on-the-job training and the potential of a full time apprenticeship after the course comes to and end. This is an aspect of the course that some of the students are surprised and delighted to find out as they make their way through the training.
The Prince’s Trust, in collaboration with GTG and Arnold Clark, aims to make a difference to local young people’s lives, young people that perhaps would not have had the qualifications, apparent opportunity or know-how to go about pursuing their chosen career.
“I would not have been able to achieve all I have without the help of the Prince’s Trust, GTG and Arnold Clark. My qualifications aren’t as good as what the exam requires. I wouldn’t have been considered for any starter course because of my dyslexia, but the Prince’s Trust look for more than just what’s written on a piece of paper.
I got to show my personality, my willingness to learn and the ambition I have to be a success in a field that I am passionate about.”“I have really loved the scheme, it has helped me build up my confidence”
Paula is now half way through her apprenticeship at Arnold Clark Volkswagen, Crow Road, and is loving every minute of it. She plans to go back to where she started in the coming years, and give others the opportunity she had with the Prince’s Trust, by returning to GTG and training other students in the basics needed to become a mechanic.