For William Gale is one of the local success stories to come out of the UK Government’s Kickstart employability scheme.
And his work placement at Macrebur, the plastic roads firm in Lockerbie, is going so well that he has been nominated for an award for his endeavours and hopes to hear this week if he has been successful.
It’s William’s first job outside the home as since leaving Moffat Academy he has been a full time carer for his mum.
But after struggling to survive on a £60 a week allowance for the last few years, he decided it was time to get out to work.
His initial job hunt was fruitless and ‘disappointing’ but in October an opportunity came up at MacRebur as a production operative and the 24-year-old can’t believe his luck.
He said: “At first I was terrified but after the first day I realised there was nothing scary about it, thanks to everyone there.
“It’s second nature now and it’s been one of the best experiences I have had.
“I am very happy and I want to stay there as long as I can. As Toby, one of my bosses said, I am part of the furniture now.”
William also praised the support from the Kickstart team and his personal work coach, Kyle, saying: “He has been there as a support. He calls me every month to see how I am doing and what I have been learning and for a general chat.
“It’s been really nice to have someone to chat to about it all and to take a step back and reflect on it all. Kickstart has changed my life, going from struggling and wondering what next, to being comfortable and able to treat my mum at Christmas and little things like that, and all the possibilities that have opened up too.
“Working has helped with my confidence too, I feel more willing to go out and do things and meet new people.”
He now fits in five days a week at Macrebur, notching up 15,000 steps at each shift in the warehouse and factory, alongside his caring responsibilities and is also a regular at the How’s It Done gym in the town.
William added: “I would 100 per cent recommend the Kickstart scheme to others, I have been so lucky and had success with it.”