Getting your GCSE results can feel like a life changing moment. I remember just how nervous I felt when I collected my equivalent results around thirty five years ago.
It can be a time of jubilation or disappointment, as not everyone gets the grades they'd hoped for.
I want to reassure young people who may be anxious that no matter what your results are, there are still lots of opportunities out there for you.
Barnardo's provides a whole host of training and employment skills programmes to young people who want to build their skills, regardless of their results. What we're looking for are candidates with the potential and drive to get on. We've got an open door policy; we want to help you achieve your potential and get on the career ladder.
Our training programmes range from beauty therapy and retail, to engineering and renewable energies, so there should be something out there to suit everyone. There's also financial support to assist with travel, meals and other learning materials.
Our courses help people like Laila, who felt she had no real direction and was struggling to fulfil her potential. She left school with GCSE's equivalent to Level 1 and wanted to upskill while earning a wage.
Laila enrolled on Barnardo's Talent Match and went on to complete the Administration Apprenticeship at Barnardo's Employment, Training and Skills service in Yorkshire.
Since starting the course, Laila's confidence has exploded and she's now developing her own business doing wedding hair and make-up in her free time. Laila describes how the role has inspired her:
"It's not just about the job, it's about the people I get the opportunity to meet and the different experiences I have outside of my admin role."
Laila's employer also sees her as an essential part of the team:
"Laila is an integral cog to the administration team at ETS Yorkshire. She has mastered many administration skills including parts of finance. Laila is a great organiser, communicator and has a thirst for learning. She is a fast learner and as a line manager I am very proud of her."
So, if you're thinking about the future and not sure what your next move will be, here are four things you could do with Barnardo's to start building your career:
1. Learning future employability skills
Barnardo's On Track, funded by Santander, offers six months one-to-one careers coaching to help you develop your confidence and boost your motivation so you can find work. Through On Track, which is based in Birmingham and Basingstoke, you'll get access to activities such as DIY skills workshops, learning street dance, CV writing workshops and interview tips.
2. Studying for the qualifications you need
If you're not quite ready to take on an apprenticeship, or unsure what you would like to do, we've got courses that could help you get your foot in the door. At Barnardo's we offer qualifications in everything from painting and decorating, business and administration, hairdressing, beauty therapy, retail, customer service, and warehousing. These are all delivered alongside gaining valuable work-experience with local employers. We're also excited about setting out qualifications in engineering and renewable energy for the first time ever this year in Newcastle.
3. Getting a GCSE in Maths and English
For some roles, it can really help to have qualifications in English and Maths. That's why if you're undertaking training with Barnardo's in Yorkshire or the North East, and you've not got a GCSE grade A-C in English or Maths, we offer you the chance to take this academic qualification again alongside your vocational learning.
4. Taking on an apprenticeship
We offer apprenticeships in everything from business administration to customer service, team leading, painting and decorating, warehousing, hairdressing, beauty therapy and retail. Our apprenticeship schemes are open to all young people aged 16-24.
Leaving school is an exciting time. We want to support you as you make your next step, so to find out more about the programmes we've got at Barnardo's, visit our website.