Curtain Up for Andrew’s New Career and a Christmas TV Role

Graduate Andrew Maskall, who was unemployed for 12 months, has landed a job in theatre marketing – and a starring TV role, thanks to the GO Wales Graduate Academy.

After a successful work experience placement at Theatr Stiwt in Wrexham, Andrew has been offered a new job as the theatre’s marketing manager – plus an exciting role in an S4C documentary.

Commenting on the upturn in his fortunes, Andrew said: “The Graduate Academy has changed my life. I was unemployed for a year before applying and had begun to realise that my CV was too specific to my previous career as a drama teacher. This meant potential employers were not seeing the skills I could offer them.”

“The Graduate Academy seemed like the best option for me to build on my skills and expand my knowledge to ensure that I’m the best possible candidate for future jobs. I was nervous at first because I graduated in 2004 and am now 29. I wasn’t sure if I was too old for ‘graduate’ schemes like this. However, I got on the course and it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.”

As a result of working with the Graduate Academy, Theatr Stiwt has put Andrew on a 10-week GO Wales placement before he starts his new job as full-time marketing manager at Christmas.

Theatr Stiwt is also the focus of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called Seren Nadolig Rhos, which is being shown on S4C over Christmas.

Andrew, who has a leading role in the show, said: “The camera crews spent a lot of time following me round, which was exciting and horribly frightening and at the same time. People can check out the TV show and see what I get up to here!”

Andrew added: “I can’t sing the praises enough of the Graduate Academy highly enough. It absolutely lived up to, and surpassed, my expectations. The support is overwhelming and during the entire experience it really felt like everyone was working towards the common goal of finding good quality employment.

“There were no hidden agendas or ulterior motives. Yes, there is a lot of work, but it’s all in context. With the guidance we’ve had, and the work placements we were on, it all helps to increase our employability.”

The Graduate Academy is a unique training course aimed at unemployed graduates and those in low skilled jobs in Wales. The first pilot course took place in 2009 and to date nearly 200 graduates have benefited from the course which includes 2 weeks residential training at Trinity Saint David in Lampeter and a four week work experience placement. Gwen Adams, Graduate Academy Coordinator explains;

“We’re very proud of the Graduate Academy and of what the graduates who have completed the programme have achieved. Many have secured paid graduate level opportunities following the programme but, perhaps as significant, many have also gained the confidence and greater self-reliance, commercial and self awareness and tenacity that will enable them to take charge of and manage their career and personal development in this tough and ever-changing world”.

With five additional courses planned for 2012 unemployed graduates are urged to apply for the next available course via the GO Wales website www.gowales.co.uk/graduateacademy