For Matthew Pringle, a promising career as a performer was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Having attended stage school from the age of 16, performed alongside celebrities and worked with top choreographers, his offers of work in pantomine and on cruise ships were cancelled and he realised that working in the industry was not financially sustainable and that he would need to pursue a different career.
Matthew, aged 22, said: “Working in public services is always something that I’ve been interested in and I applied to join West Midlands Police but didn’t realise that I needed a Level 3 qualification so I was turned down.
“However, I found out that volunteer special constables don’t need any qualifications, so I applied for a role and after doing my training it gave me the impetus to come to college to gain the qualification I need to join the regular force.
Matthew, who enrolled for the Uniformed Protective Services Level 3 foundation diploma, added: “I had doubts at first as I wasn’t very academic at school and prefer to do practical things, but the tutors put my mind at ease and suggested taking on a leadership role within the group which would help me – and it really has!
“I am now motivated to achieve the highest possible mark on my course and progress to become a regular officer through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship. My end goal is to become a specialist firearms officer in the Counter Terrorism Unit at West Midlands Police, and hopefully one day run the unit – and I know that with what I’m being taught and the help of my tutors that this is possible.
“In many ways my world has been turned upside down, with a complete change in profession, however I know that this is what I was meant to do – help people, protect people and serve our Queen.”