The Journey to Achieving the Young Person Volunteer Award: Meet Kirsten Watkins

17-year-old Kirsten Watkins joined Itec with no self-confidence. She was very quiet but wanted to develop her communication skills along with her CV and be introduced to a retail working environment. Her lack of a car and worries about public transport, however, further undermined her confidence and gave her the impression she had no direction for a potential career.

Ruth Sainsbury, Itec’s Employability Officer Team Leader managed to find Kirsten a local work placement at Barnardo’s charity shop, only a short walk away from her home. This is when Kirsten’s confidence began to blossom. Upon beginning her work in the stock room, Kirsten gained confidence and developed her interpersonal skills. Before long, she oversaw the register, completing VAT registration and end-of-day reports and closing the shop at the end of the day. Essentially, Kirsten’s confidence and skills had improved so much she was trusted with the duties of store manager.

Shortly afterwards, Kirsten was introduced to the retail work environment by attaining a part-time role in Matalan alongside her work placement. Kirsten aims to increase her working hours once she has completed her Communication and Application of Number Level 1 qualification with Itec.

Due to Kirsten’s remarkable growth on both a personal and professional level, she was awarded the local Young Person Volunteer Award. She has now been nominated for the National Young Person Volunteer Award 2023 where she will be competing against five other finalists across the country.

“Itec has helped me gain confidence and gave me the direction I needed to pursue a career in retail. Since starting my work placement at Barnardo’s, I have been awarded Young Person Volunteer 2023 in the Area and in the Region and I have been nominated for the National Young Person Volunteer Award 2023.”- Kirsten Watkins, Itec Advancement Learner.

Itec’s Jobs Growth Wales Plus programme changes lives for the better by assisting young people with their confidence and career goals. To find out more about Itec’s Jobs Growth Wales+ programme please click below:

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