During 2013, after being unemployed for 10 years, Kelly Smith, started as a volunteer at VAST in Stoke-on-Trent as a way to boost her confidence and get back into the world of work.
She quickly began to shine and get a taste for success after securing a part-time role within the charity. She wanted to do more and learn more. VAST joined with PM Training to upskill their workforce, and in 2016, Kelly started her first qualification, a Level 2 in Business Administration.
This was the first of many, as VAST and PM Training worked with Kelly over 4 years to successfully complete numerous apprenticeships that have upskilled her in many areas. With support from her assessor, she's learned new skills and behaviours across business administration, team leading, project management and she is currently completing a Level 3 Diploma in Management.
She states “I complete one NVQ and then move straight onto the next! I love learning and upskilling. I am ever so grateful to Niki at PM Training and VAST for their support. They have helped me regain my confidence in employment. The training that I have completed has helped me get to where I am now”.
Kelly now uses her experience as a Project Officer on the Vintage Volunteers project at VAST where she assists the 60+ community to find volunteering opportunities to prevent isolation and loneliness. She is a well-known face across Stoke-on-Trent within the voluntary sector.
"I am ever so grateful to Niki from PM Training and VAST for their support.
They have helped me regain my confidence in employment. The training that I have completed has helped me get to where I am now.”
She continues “I love my job and helping other people. It feels good to make a difference in peoples lives and I wouldn’t have been able to do that had I not pushed myself from the beginning. I have grown massively since I first started working within the sector."
Lisa Healings, Finance Director at VAST, added “Kelly is a really valuable member of the team at VAST and dedicates herself completely to everything she does. She uses her experiences to ensure that other people can effectively access volunteering roles and benefit in the same way she has.”
Over the years, Kelly has proven the great success that can be achieved through training and development. She adds:"The skills and and knowledge I have obtained through PM Training have assisted me in getting where I want to be. I hope there will be many more years training with them to come!.”