Amanda Hedley - School Co-ordinator
What is your name?
What is your job title?
DYW Moray School Co-ordinator for Elgin High School and Milnes High School
Describe your career pathway after leaving school
Whilst in my sixth year I was working in Safeway and also was a volunteer Youth worker. When I left school, I went to Moray College to study an NC in Sport and recreation and also gained an employed role as a Youth worker. I qualified with my NC and continued on to the HNC in Sports Coaching, however, this was not for me and I did not pursue this route.
I continued working as a Youth worker and really enjoyed this role of helping and supporting others. At this point, I had three part-time jobs and when I look back now, I gained a wealth of experience and skills from all three of these jobs.
I moved away to Inverness for a short period of time and worked as a Shift Manager with J.D. Wetherspoons and was looking at moving to Edinburgh to run my own bar, however, again this was not the route I wished to continue with. Returning home, I secured my previous job in Safeway’s and had gained experience in every department, although I realised that I wanted to be doing something to help people. Therefore, I attended Moray college’s open evening where I enrolled in the HNC in Complementary therapies. I graduated in 2005 with my HND in Complementary therapies and merit in Reflexology. I then started my own business as a self-employed therapist until 2013.
In 2013 I gained employment at Moray college as a Lecturer in Complementary therapies specifically for Reflexology and continued in this post until January of 2021 where I taught on many subjects. I then was looking for a change in career and at this point, I was very fortunate to be recruited as one of the School Co-ordinators for DYW Moray.
Have you ever been an apprentice? If yes, please explain what this was, what this involved and why would you encourage others to undertake an apprenticeship.
I have not had the opportunity of an apprenticeship; however, I think these are fantastic opportunities for young people. I believe that these apprenticeships build on skills and experiences allowing for a huge amount of learning within the workplace. I feel that this allows young people to develop their skills quicker and understand the industry.
What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?
- Business Management
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I love working with and helping people and this is exactly what this job entails. This can be working with employers or teachers in schools. It involves listening and working together to create better opportunities for young people.
Why did you want to work in this industry?
I want to make a difference. Having previously worked as a Youth worker, I felt that I could help, inspire and motivate others to realise their potential and the opportunities that are available in Moray.
Did you ever want to pursue another career?
Yes, I wanted to be a PE teacher and a Policewoman, however, I did not have the qualifications for teaching and did not pass the exam for the Police force. When I left school, I struggled and did not feel able enough to go into higher education. However, now I have a teaching qualification in further education and will have a degree in Integrative Healthcare by the end of 2021. I am a great believer in everything happens for a reason and when the time is right for you, this is when things just fall into place with ease.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
My role varies constantly. We have just gained access to schools since the pandemic, therefore, to date, my role has been liaising with employers, partners, educators, and colleagues via Teams. Organising events to creating social media content.
What skills are required to do your job?
- Problem Solving
- Public Speaking
- Team Work
What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?
Gain experience in customer services as this will build your communication and teamwork skills. This could be completed within a volunteering role as well as work experience.