#NoWrongPath by Carol Evans

Launched in 2017, #NoWrongPath is a social media movement led by Developing the Young Workforce which provides inspiration and reassurance to young people receiving their exam results.

It’s recognized that some young people may feel disheartened by their exam results. The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate that many people are in interesting job roles across Scotland who may not have taken a straight, obvious or traditional path to get there because there is #NoWrongPath.

The aim of the campaign is to show young people that there are options available to them and that exam results are not necessarily the key to unlocking success.

To highlight the #NoWrongPath campaign we’ve been talking to Carol Evan’s about her story.  Carol has been an Instructor at Helm for 16 years and this is her journey, in her own words:

“I left school with very few qualifications and wanted to be a DJ which I have never become, because my path changed drastically when I left school.

I had the chance to go to college on a Youth Opportunity Programme and studied Retail and Distribution.  I then went out on various work placements to stores in Dundee.  However, I realised it wasn’t for me by the end of the course so I went to get a job in a jute mill in town.

I worked in the printing part of the mill printing bags for potatoes, sugar and other products – in those days, groceries were distributed to retailers in big jute bags. Unfortunately, they made a round of redundancies.  I started looking for work and I got a job working in the Levi’s factory making jeans based here in Dundee. I was there for 18 years before it shut down and I was made redundant once again.

I was always interested in interior design, so I then went to work at B&Q in the décor department.  The job was part time and alongside it, I returned to college to study Interior and Spatial design. I did 2 years at college and when I finished, I then started working at B&Q full time as the Demo Co-Ordinator. The job was really varied – I demonstrated new paints, power tools and other new products. I also ran a Ladies DIY Club, a Kids Club and a gardening club with help of the gardeners.  I also went out and worked with the wider community on different projects which was great.

One day an Instructor from Helm came in with a couple of young people and wanted to know how to work a certain power tool. We got talking and his job sounded amazing, I immediately thought I would like to do that.

When once again I was made redundant because the Demo Co-Ordinator position no longer existed, I secured a job in a tiles center. I was only there for a few weeks when I saw a job advertised at Helm and I applied for it. It was working with young people on arts, crafts and woodwork.

16 years on I am still here but my job role has changed. Most days are different and I do a variety of interesting tasks.  I assess and internally verify qualifications, I work with young people in the Helm kitchen teaching them how to cook on a budget and about nutrition, I work with young people at the allotment on a variety of tasks including planting, weeding, painting, fixing fences and building decking.

I also work with the young people to teach them how to paint, hang wallpaper and other decorating skills.  Alongside this I teach them a lot of different life skills like first aid, team building, budgeting, numeracy, communications, ICT and employability skills.

I never thought in a million years that I would be doing this because I didn’t get many qualifications.

I love my job and it can be very rewarding.  I am proud to be one of the Helm team.

Carol Evans