School pupils in Scotland are getting their exam results and while many will be delighted, some might be left a little downhearted. Prince's Trust Scotland has come up with five bits of advice for what you can do if your exam results weren't what you wanted
1. Don’t keep quiet
Yes, exams are important but a piece of paper doesn’t define your future. At The Prince’s Trust Scotland, we meet lots of young people who have struggled at school and are now successful in jobs and training. It isn’t easy to know what you want to do or how to get there, the best thing to do is so speak to someone. Drop into one of our centres, call the Skills Development Scotland helpline or visit Young Scot’s website.
2. Be honest with yourself
What really motivates you? Money might be the first thing that springs to mind, but research has shown that it doesn’t necessarily mean it motivates us to succeed. We are more likely to be successful if we are doing a job we enjoy. For example, Nicole Gallagher (pictured) aged 21, thought because she was a girl she had to go and study hair and beauty. She went to college and hated it. She always loved cars and jumped at the chance to do our Get into Car Mechanics programme – she is now doing a three-year modern apprenticeship with Arnold Clark.
3. Don't let your circumstance doesn’t define your future
Many of the young people we help are in or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. These young people are more likely to have no qualifications or low basic skills, or be unemployed or homeless. Our programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. We help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training. Kerry (pictured), aged 19, from Aberdeen grew up in and out of the care system. She left school at 17, with little qualifications, making her feel isolated and vulnerable. She was always passionate about the care sector. After seeing a poster for our Get into Care prorgamme Kerry has never looked back. She successfully completed the course and is now a full-time carer for Cornerstone and helps those who have gone through similar experiences.
4. Be your own boss
Think setting up your business is out of reach? Think again. Take Emma McDonald (pictured) for example, she struggled at school and left with no qualifications. But at just aged 21 she set up her own floristry business with £200 cash savings. In need of more financial support and guidance, she joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. This free course helps budding entrepreneurs with the fundamentals of business – what makes a great business idea, how to write a killer business plan, marketing and selling your business, financial planning, plus one-to-one support from a business mentor. Emma is now running a successful floristry business in her home town Peebles and was crowned Florist of the Year 2014 award at the Scottish Wedding Awards. Emma has shown that with passion, determination and the right support, you can turn your idea into a blooming success. What’s stopping you?
5. Find out where the jobs are
Did you know the construction industry is booming and crying out for people to fill jobs, but we have a skills shortage in Scotland? Same goes for the STEM industry (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Keep an eye on the news or speak to us about how our training programmes can help get you on the right track.