Billie-Jay Holloway

After spending five years working for a well-known burger chain, Billie-Jay decided that it was time for a change.

Billie-Jay said: “I started that job straight from school after completing my GCSEs and got stuck in a rut. It just finally clicked that I didn’t want to spend my life in that job role. A few of my friends who went to City College straight from school recommended it. My mum then mentioned to me that the College had an open day, so I thought I’d pop along.

“By attending the open day I was able to get the information I needed all in one hit. I decided I wanted to go down the construction route, and I enrolled on a plumbing course.”

As Billie-Jay was returning to full-time education, she was slightly nervous about starting her course but she soon settled in. She said: “I don’t know what I was worried about, thinking about it now. The tutors help you settle in and the College has a very welcoming feel to it. I already felt part of something the first time I walked into the College. People say hello to you, it has a great atmosphere, which really helped me integrate into College life.”

As part of the course, Billy-Jay had the opportunity to do some work experience with a local firm, enabling her to put what she had learned in the College workshop in to practice in a proper working environment.

“The fact that I was able to find work experience, as well as studying, has been of great benefit to me. In fact, I found this work experience through theworkspace at the College and they were brilliant in assisting me with it. By the end of the first work placement, I’d managed to gain ten weeks more work experience.

“I’ve learnt so much on this course. I’ve really got a taste for plumbing and I don’t want to stop learning – it’s what I enjoy! I like the idea that I can create a fully functional system for someone and I look back and I think: I did that. For me, it’s exciting. I want to work on bigger structures in the future, bigger pipework and bigger gas installations. I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can, and learn as much as I can, in order to gain access to a career in marine engineering, which would be my ultimate goal.”