Rangers Charity Foundation: Stroke Of Success For Kai After Completing Employability Programme

22 August 2023

Rangers Charity Foundation: Stroke Of Success For Kai After Completing Employability Programme

The Rangers Charity Foundation’s SQA Programme of Wider Achievement aims to re-engage young people across Glasgow with their education to help them build a brighter future.

After attending the course at Ibrox and receiving tailored support from Rangers Charity Foundation staff with employability skills, such as CV building and interview practice, Kai Gracie went straight into his first job.

Like many Wider achievement participants, Kai had become disengaged with school; something he readily admits.

“I wasn’t really enjoying school if I’m honest. I didn’t really find that the school environment was for me.”

Kai Gracie, Wider Achievement Programme Participant

Despite not thriving in the school environment, Kai was keen to join the Wider Achievement programme after finding out what was on offer.

“Before I started on the course, I had an understanding that I could get some SQA qualifications and then I could get some industry experience from the types of work that we were completing on the course. The course really helped me understand and think about the things that I wanted to do, and it made me think twice about what we had been doing in school and how important those things can be. The qualifications are really good to have because you never know when you might need them and it’s something that can come in useful in different situations.”

Kai Gracie, Wider Achievement Programme Participant

The Wider Achievement programme is run by Community Programmes Manager, Jamie Duncanson, with assistance provided by Community Executive, Nicole Pullar.

Using the Foundation’s SQA Approved Centre status, staff are able to deliver qualifications such as: Steps to Work Award SCQF Level 4, Award in Employability SCQF Level 3/4, National 5 units, First Aid at Work SCQF Level 6 and First Aid for Mental Health SCQF Level 5.

Throughout the course, Kai was unsure if he wanted to go back to school but remained keen to look at alternative options. One of those options was to take up employment, and that was the path that he opted to go down.

With friends already in the industry, Kai was eager to pursue a role as a tradesman and when an opportunity arose to become an apprentice painter and decorator, it was one that he was looking to grab with both hands.

“I was working with Nicole and Andy, and they had mentioned that there was a painting and decorating job going. Nicole and Jamie helped me speak with the school and helped me arrange a two-week trial period with the company which was really good and thankfully I did really well on the trial, and they offered me an apprenticeship after I had finished the trial.”

Kai Gracie, Wider Achievement Programme Participant

With Kai now in full-time employment he explained that it’s something he can see himself doing for a long time.

“I think working and earning has been really good for me because it’s keeping me focussed whereas in school, I was maybe not paying as much attention as I should have been. I enjoy going to my job now because it’s something different and I’m earning now and working towards the goal of finishing an apprenticeship. The course has been really good for me because it’s kind of fast tracked me to where I wanted to be. So I’ve been able to get that experience first-hand on jobs and I have not had to go to college for a year beforehand. In this job with Dumbreck Decorators I’m now full-time Monday to Friday, and it’s been great for me so far. Working as a painter and decorator is something I can see myself sticking at now and something I can get settled into and enjoy.”

Kai Gracie, Wider Achievement Programme Participant

Community Programmes Manager, Jamie, was equally pleased to see Kai achieve a successful outcome.

“Kai attended one full day per week for the academic term gaining accredited awards and live work experience we are delighted that he has now progressed into a full-time apprenticeship with one of our excellent employer partners showing the pathway opportunities available. The Rangers Charity Foundation’s SQA Wider Achievement Programme provides an additional resource to the secondary school curriculum providing a vocational learning experience that better prepares young people for the world of work.”

Jamie Duncanson, Community Programmes Manager

The Wider Achievement course works with a variety of schools to support pupils who may not be engaging optimally but could benefit from a different learning environment. Pupils come to Ibrox Stadium one day a week to gain qualifications, get exposure to industry partners and develop their skills. Last season the Rangers Charity Foundation partnered with 10 schools and this season they are already working with 18 schools to assist more young people than ever.

The programme recognises the life and work skills that come from a wide range of activities which can include sport, mentoring, voluntary work, or fundraising activities — whether they take place at school, college or elsewhere.


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