“I feel ecstatic!” says 39-year-old Kelly Smart who, on the day we spoke to her, had been offered a full-time job as a teaching assistant at a local school.
Kelly, who worked as a hairdresser for 11 years before deciding to retrain, is studying for the teaching assistant Level 3 certificate and attends college one evening a week.
She added: “I did the Level 2 qualification last year and did voluntary work at my son’s school to give me some classroom experience. I progressed to the Level 3 qualification this year and, in March, the head teacher offered me some paid hours as a classroom assistant – I couldn’t believe it!
“The course has given me a real understanding of how to work with children and how to deal with different behaviours and I feel confident to deal with any issues that arise when I’m in the classroom.
“I was nervous to come back to studying after such a long time but everyone in the group supports each other and the tutors are always there to give extra advice of you need it.
“Deciding to change career is the best decision I’ve ever made and when I was offered the full-time job this morning I felt as proud as punch!”