Carly Waddell

BSc Honours Degree Podiatry, Glasgow Caledonian University  

Carly Waddell provided a speech at our Youth Conference in March 2019 during Apprenticeship Week, her pathway wasn’t straight, obvious or traditional. Carly completed her Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 in Children’s Care and Development in 2012 at TIGERS and now studying BSc Honours Degree in Podiatry at Glasgow Caledonian University. 

Why did you choose a career in Early Years?  

Carly: I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career. I applied to TIGERS to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship in Children’s Care, Learning and Development in 2009, 10 years ago, just after I left high school.  

Can you describe your journey undertaking a Get Ready for Work programme and then completing your Modern Apprenticeship? 

Carly: Honestly, I did not get off to the best of starts. I was almost removed from the course.   

I was able to hang in there by the skin of my teeth as my Assessor Heather Munro believed in me and gave me a second chance’. 

Carly: Get Ready for Work Programme gave me the confidence and experience to progress to a Modern Apprenticeship in Early Years. Having the opportunity to do a placement in a nursery created a sense of belongingness and I developed a work routine. My Modern Apprenticeship was not the easiest at times, as my Assessor Heather Munro will tell you, I was going through a lot of personal issues and started to lack motivation. My amazing Assessor supported me, and I became fully qualified in 2012 with a Level 3 in Children’s Care Learning and Development.  

‘My Assessor always encouraged me, believed in me, saw potential in my abilities, not just as a Modern Apprentice, but in life in general.’  

Can you describe what it’s like to work in the Early Years sector? 

Carly: You work hands-on with the children, creating learning experience for the children and observing their progression. I loved being able to do work experience in a nursery, watching the children progress, as well as myself.   

Heather Munro asked Carly Waddell to speak at our Youth Conference in March 2019, believing her experience would inspire others to have confidence in themselves to achieve their goals.  

Heather: I first met Carly in 2009 where she started at 16 full of potential, just too afraid to realise it or believe in herself. Seeing the passion and determination ooze from Carly’s commitment to nurture children’s development throughout her Modern Apprenticeship came naturally to her.  With each step of her achievements her confidence grew, enough to spur her on to venturing across the world by herself, pursue a college place to complete another qualification. The pride I feel for the journey Carly has made and is still on is indescribable, facing adversities, insecurities and her own personal and professional aspirations year after year asking,What’s next?’ ‘Now what?’ ‘Where to?’ And daring to now believe in herself - a university student! Not a question of doubt that this dynamic, brave and amazing young lady was a leader, a leader of her own destiny, a leader of strength, a leader of choosing to believe in no boundaries and resilience.  Now in 2019, 10 years later from where our journey began, a relationship of trust, commitment and encouragement has maintained, and it is my pleasure to know Carly as a friend and look forward to the next 10 years of ‘what’s next?’. 

Carly: I honestly believe that if I had been removed from the course in the beginning, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m putting it down to someone taking the time to understand me as a person and giving me their constant support. Since completing my Modern Apprenticeship at TIGERS, I then went on to study HND Sports Therapy at college, volunteered in Ghana for three months working with young people with disabilities and now I am studying BSc Honours Degree Podiatry at Glasgow Caledonian University.  

The 3 years I spent at TIGERS really helped me mature as an individual, provided me with self-belief, and a ‘I CAN’ attitude, despite what most people told me growing up. I am grateful for the support I received and delighted to still be in contact with my Assessor and friend, Heather Munro.  

Not a question of doubt that this dynamic, brave and amazing young lady was a leader, a leader of her own destiny, a leader of strength, a leader of choosing to believe in no boundaries and resilience.