Joinery student breaks down barriers

Joinery student breaks down barriers

A student at Ayrshire College who is studying towards a City & Guilds Diploma in Bench Joinery has earned praise for the progress she has made on the course.

Becky Williamson, 21 from Hurlford, left school with no qualifications and so had to start her journey towards becoming a joiner on the Connect to Careers course at the College.

Connect to Careers is an entry-level course aimed at school leavers who are unsure about what is next for them or who need to develop new skills. Becky credits the course with giving her the confidence to progress to a full-time course in Construction.

Becky, who is a care experienced student, describes her upbringing as “chaotic”. Without a settled home, she struggled to fully commit to school and was in danger of going down the wrong path.

Realising she should enrol at college in order to carve out a promising career for herself, Becky opted towards joinery as she had always enjoyed woodwork at school.

Last year Becky’s lecturers chose her to receive an award which recognised her as the best student in the class, and she continues to impress lecturers with the quality of her work on the City & Guilds course.

Becky said “I didn’t really get much from school. I left with nothing and so wasn’t set up for college. I had to put in a lot more work to be able to do it.

“College has given me confidence and a lot of skills so that I am able to keep up with everyone else. I’m at the same level as my classmates, so I feel great.

“It’s hard when you’ve got quite a chaotic life. School wasn’t really a priority for me. I was staying in children’s homes, I was moving about a lot and getting into trouble.

“My home life is quite settled now and I’m happy where I am. My lecturers have been really supportive and they’ve got a lot of patience with me. They always help me and make me feel better.

“Anybody can be a joiner, it’s not a career just for boys. I’d love to get an apprenticeship and become a joiner. To anyone else who is in the position I was in, I’d say give college a chance and see how you get on.”

Craig Barrie, Carpentry and Joinery lecturer at Ayrshire College, said “Becky came into our department three years ago, and she was a very shy and withdrawn individual. Becky used to come in with her hat on with her hoodie up and her jacket hood up too. The distance that she has travelled since is unbelievable. Her practical work is always completed to a very high standard and she is usually first to finish."

1 November 2018

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