Where there’s a Will, there’s a way to a new career
01 April 2011
At a time and at an age when many people would be content just to hang on to the job they've got, 37 year-old Will Clark from West Lothian is looking forward to starting an apprenticeship to launch a new career and a new life 400 of miles away.
In the coming weeks the former Scottish Gas worker will leave Livingston and head for Suffolk where he is to begin working with an Approved Training Farrier (ATF).
Will's life-changing journey actually began more than a year ago, when he decided to enrol at Oatridge College in West Lothian to take an "Entry to Farriery" course, the first step to fulfilling a lifelong ambition to work with animals.
As part of his studies Will took an additional course developed by Deloitte, the global accountancy firm, and has just emerged as the Deloitte Employability-Oatridge College Student of the Year for 2010 (See picture). He says: "I have had a lot of jobs and although I worked for Scottish Gas for seven years, I would have preferred a different sort of job. When I was younger I always wanted to work with animals, so farriery finally gives me the chance. It's very varied because I'll be working with horses, but at the same time meeting a lot of different people."
The Deloitte course is designed to develop personal and social skills and provide an edge in the jobs search. "It did a lot to increase my self-confidence," says Will, but even so his determination was well tested when he set about finding an apprenticeship. "My wife and I wrote 400 letters to training farriers. I had to keep a letter diary noting dates when letters were sent, so that I could follow them up." It was that attention to detail that eventually landed him his new job in Suffolk. "My new employer said that I was the first applicant who had ever backed up a letter with a phone call. It got me the interview."
It will take four years for Will to complete his apprenticeship and what he learns from his ATF will be supported by spells at Warwickshire College, which will provide the academic input to his qualification.
Matt Carlyle, Will's Deloitte Employability tutor at Oatridge College, says: "It's great to see him getting his apprenticeship and I'm sure he'll do very well. He was always very supportive of the aims of the employability course and his work for it, as with everything else, was always done to the highest standard. Throughout his time at Oatridge he helped and inspired other students and it shows the type of person he is that, once he had secured a job, he was happy to hand over all of his contacts to another student to improve his chances of finding work."