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Young nursery practitioner starts her career after the impact of COVID-19 left her stranded

Updated: Mar 17


Courtney secured a new job through the hidden job market and she is now thriving working in a job she’s always wanted.



Why Courtney joined Fair Start Scotland?


Courtney had recently completed her Apprenticeship to become a nursery practitioner working and learning at a nursery - the impact of COVID-19 meant she was no longer required. Courtney decided to apply for a dental nursing course at college but could not gain a place which left her feeling unsecure about her future.


She was willing to try something new, but she didn’t want to see her qualification in childcare to be a waste of hard work.


Since leaving secondary school Courtney had always worked or studied. She found herself in limbo and feeling low as there were few vacancies that suited her qualifications. She felt the pandemic held her back massively and was unsure how to apply for the roles so she contacted Fair Start Scotland for support.


How Fair Start Scotland helped?


Personal adviser Natalie helped Courtney to create a new and detailed CV using all of her transferrable skills. Once this was completed, Natalie taught Courtney all about the hidden job market showing her how to find the jobs that she was interested in.


Natalie set a project for both of them to undertake speculative jobsearch, which involved pulling together a list of all the nurseries in the East Ayrshire area and finding out their contact details. The next stage of the project was to call all the nurseries on the list, however Courtney wasn’t confident enough to make the calls, so Natalie suggested emailing them instead. Together they drafted an email which included a speculative letter detailing all of Courtney’s experience, qualifications and goals.


Courtney didn’t have to wait long to get a response from some of the nurseries. She was shocked by just how many got in touch and one nursery in particular asked her attend an interview.


Getting the job


Natalie supported Courtney to prepare for the interview by doing mock interviews and giving her tips on how to present herself on the day.


To Courtney’s delight, she was successful in the interview and was offered a part-time position as a nursery practitioner. She jumped right into her new role and fitted in well with the team.


Courtney made such a good impression, they asked her to go full-time in the new year which has been a massive boost in her confidence as well as strengthening her experience.


Courtney is appreciative of all the help and support she's recieved from Natalie, speculative job searching was something she would not have considered doing. She doesn’t think she would have managed to get this far without the support from StartScotland.


What’s next


Courtney’s long-term goal is to continue working with children and young people. She hopes to build up more experience and grow in confidence within her current role.


Now, Courtney has a stable income, and is currently saving up for driving lessons. She hopes that when lockdown restrictions ease, she can put the money towards lessons and pass her test.


Courtney is receiving in-work support and she is starting to work towards other goals ,now that she has more financial independence.

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