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Welsh Government

Alex's story


20-year-old Alex overcame anxiety to continue with his career plans

“I first sought advice from Careers Wales around the time I was doing my GCSEs at Wyedean school. After sitting my exams, I’d planned to do a catering course to become a chef. But, I became quite anxious about this due to my autism and from personal experiences that I faced during the last year of school.

"My teachers suggested booking an appointment with Careers Wales to talk to a careers adviser about how I was feeling. I was introduced to Beth, who I met with regularly to chat about my plans for college and my concerns about continuing in further education.

"However, things did not go as I had hoped at first. After finishing my level 2 course in catering, I decided to leave college, turning down my place for the level 3 course.  I was struggling with my peers and my anxiety was magnified due working in a busy kitchen environment.

"After leaving, I went back to Wyedean to do a vocational year in sixth form to gain additional level 2 qualifications including GCSE maths. With this new-found success, I had enough qualifications to study BTECs in sixth form.”

Confidence-boosting support from Careers Wales

“In my first year doing BTECs, I was still anxious about what my plans were after sixth form. I met up with Beth again for support and advice. During those meetings we acknowledged that I worked hard in my studies and that my experiences outside of sixth form, particularly volunteering and part-time work was helping me boost my confidence.

“We looked at the skills I had developed in my studies and I realised that I had outstanding skills developed from my ICT and Business courses. These included research which I built when handling coursework assignments in Business, as well as creative skills through ICT when developing banners and logos on platforms like Canva. With this, Beth gave me the encouragement to further enhance these skills whilst being on the look out to develop more.

"I was also given the chance to do a mock interview with Admiral which really helped boost my confidence when it came to apprenticeship interviews.

“During my time with Beth, we talked about the experiences and anxiety I was facing the first time I met her and what happened during my time at college. She understood that I was just a frightened individual that allowed fear to control my actions. She encouraged me to focus on my strengths in sixth form and I became more outgoing.

"With support from Beth and sixth form, I was able to excel in my studies and achieve outstanding results in my BTECs. I continued to develop my confidence and skills outside of sixth form by volunteering and working part-time.

Hopes for the future

“I’ve recently started a digital marketing apprenticeship at Skills For Logistic.

"I still feel anxious about starting in a new and unfamiliar place and I don’t want my past experiences to affect me. However, my employer and all the staff have been very supportive and they are committed to helping me achieve my goals.

I don’t think I would have been able to achieve any of my success without Career Wales and advisers like Beth. The ongoing support has been invaluable. I would definitely recommend Careers Wales. Careers advisers like Beth can help with any worries that you are going through and help build self-esteem for your future career.

“With my new apprenticeship, I’m still worried about the future. But I’m confident to take it one day at a time and approach every task with a can-do attitude.”

If you’re currently in school or college and would like to explore your interests and opportunities with a careers adviser, please speak to a member of staff who can advise on how to book an appointment.

You or your parent, guardian or carer can also call us free on 0800 028 4844, email or get in touch through live chat.