Upon leaving school Laura started a college course but after four weeks she was not enjoying it, she decided to leave, unsure what she wanted to do next. At this time the Get Real Programme, Wirral Council's flagship Employability Programme - aimed at supporting Care Leavers and Children Looked After into education, employment or training - was about to start and Laura was identified as a perfect candidate for it.
She needed to build her confidence, employability and inter-personal skills, and careers guidance support to help her figure out what she wanted to do next. A compulsory part of the programme was a two night residential at Brathay Hall in the Lake District. Laura was extremely reluctant to go, however, this was a turning point for her. She gained confidence and independence during her time away, showing fantastic teamwork and leadership skills, and really pushed herself. Laura said that going on this residential really helped her to grow in a lot of different ways and she had enjoyed having time to focus on herself.
Laura completed a 4-week Internship at Leverhulme and was immediately signed up on a 12 month ESF funded Intermediate Labour Market (ILM) opportunity. This programme offers support to employers to employ young people making their first steps into the world of work, allowing them time to develop skills and behaviours to be successful in the workplace. Laura continued to make excellent progress including winning an Employee of the Month award.
When the ILM programme came to an end the employer decided to keep Laura on and train her through an apprenticeship, in which the 14-19 team were able to support the employer through the Wirral Apprentice Programme aimed at supporting local business to invest in apprentices. The journey that Laura has taken in the last two years has led her from being a school leaver who lacked a lot of confidence, didn’t know what to do next and had a limited understanding of her skills and abilities, to a young adult who has a real belief in her future being positive and successful.
Laura went on to win the Liverpool City Region Apprentice of the Year award for Wirral category for 2018 held at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre.
“We are immensely proud of the journey that Laura has made leading up to this fantastic achievement. It has been our privilege to provide the platform for Laura to shine and grow her abilities to perform within her job role, but also to develop in her own confidence and secure a really bright future for herself.”
Zoe Hough at Contessa Hotels (Hillbark and Leverhulme Hotel) said, "We are immensely proud of the journey that Laura has made leading up to this fantastic achievement. It has been our privilege to provide the platform for Laura to shine and grow her abilities to perform within her job role, but also to develop in her own confidence and secure a really bright future for herself.”
Laura summarised, "I am so happy to have won this award and feel I have done myself proud, the hard work has paid off The apprenticeship has helped me to achieve a lot of my life goals and I am so grateful I had this opportunity and the support of my team at the hotel to help me get where I am today.”