Continuing our case studies for the Young People Are Great campaign, today we hear from Andy Tait, the Administration Assistant for Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney. Andy tells us about the recent qualification he gained at Orkney College UHI and details the support he has been getting with his employment since working for DYW Orkney.
You can read more below.
Tell us about your current job role or qualification.
I started at DYW Orkney in November 2020, starting my SCQF Level 5 (SVQ 2) in Business and Administration qualification in February 2021 and completing it within a year of my job appointment.
I provide administrative assistance to the Project Manager and School Co-ordinators for DYW Orkney. I also take minutes at Board meetings and help develop content for our social media accounts, such as our weekly Jobs of the Week posts.
I am currently working towards my SCQF Level 6 (SVQ 3) in Business and Administration at Orkney College UHI as well as working for DYW and Chairing the Orkney Youth Forum.
What were you doing before you undertook your current job or qualification, and why did you decide to move on to what you are currently doing?
Before working for DYW Orkney, I worked at Employability Orkney as a Retail Assistant. I started at Employability shortly after I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism). Employability Orkney helped me develop my confidence and further my skills in customer service, communication and teamwork, whilst also helping me with employability skills.
I had previously done the Preparation for Progression course at Orkney College where I was part of a Young Enterprise team. This is where I realised, I wanted to work in Administration so after completing that course I did the National Certificate in Administration.
Have you faced any challenges in your current role, if so what were they and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges in recent years that I have faced is getting diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which I got a diagnosis in March 2019. I have taken this news quite positively as I have had support from Adult Social Work at Orkney Islands Council as well as continued support from the All Age Learning Disability Service in the OIC and from Scottish Autism. Employability Orkney were a fantastic, supportive, and understanding employer helping me understand my diagnosis and help me create coping mechanisms and strategies to help me in day-to-day life.
One of the main challenges I have overcome in my employment with DYW Orkney is homeworking, this is something that I never thought I would have to do but did due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. After many months of homeworking and when restrictions allowed, my line manager and I agreed that we should return to the office on a hybrid approach for two days per week, whilst working from home most of the time. Being back in the office will allow me to gain in-office experience. This has helped me gain and develop my social skills more.
What skills have you learnt whilst achieving your qualification or working in your job?
Would you recommend this course or job role to another young person and if so why?
Doing a Modern Apprenticeship is a fantastic way of gaining a qualification whilst working, earning money and gaining experience. If you are unsure about a course or career path you would like to go down, you should try and complete some volunteering or work experience as that is one of the best ways to gain experience and know whether it is something you would like to do as a career. Since leaving school, I have done various jobs, but I don’t regret a second as I have learned so much.