“I would have never got the job without my employability work…”

Mon 04th October 2021

In 2018 Laura joined our Creative Pathways course and was successful getting a place in college and a job at a fashion retailer!


Laura lived in Glasgow with her mother. Her dad left the household when she was young, contributing to an unstable home environment. She dropped out of school at 16, and found it very difficult to re-enter education to pursue her interest in photography. She had little to no structure or framework for working towards her goals.


When the tutors first met Laura, she was distant and guarded. She did however express a desire to go to college, and said that she needed a course to help her develop a portfolio. She was also keen to get help finding employment. From the beginning, Laura showed that although she had confidence issues, she was dedicated to her opportunity at Impact Arts.

She impressed everyone with her photography skills and personal fashion style. At first she struggled with punctuality and committing herself to certain workshops and projects, but as the weeks progressed it became clear Laura was willing to keep pushing herself to overcome these barriers.

Laura struggled most with having confidence in her own creative ideas. In concept generation and prototyping workshops during the first weeks, she sat and stared at the floor. Her inability to move past her own mental barriers and trust her creative process was palpable. She was extremely frustrated, and would regress dramatically during these workshops.

However, through repetition and reframing the way Laura was asked to come up with and express creative concepts, she slowly began to trust her own process and generate work confidently. Eventually, she came up with a beautiful concept for the final series of sculptures – an inverted urban grid cast out of concrete. She ultimately created the city out of boxes of tea, clay and toothpaste, secured these “buildings” with hot glue, and then poured concrete over these to create the final sculpture.

Although Laura had always been drawn towards photography, through Creative Pathways she was able to develop and cultivate more creative interests. Her natural interest towards fashion was always evident, however in the beginning of the project she did not believe that she could consider fashion as a career. Through her employability based work with Impact Arts’ Opportunities Co-ordinator, she undertook her SQA Steps to Work Award – which involved community engagement sessions with people in north Glasgow. She also gained her Employability Award, completing the Responsibilities of Employment unit (covering workers’ rights and employers’ expectations), the Preparing for Employment unit (looking at her skills and weaknesses and how her life experiences translate to the work environment) and the Building Own Employability Skills unit (involving CV-building, job searching, interview skills and goal-setting).

“The course has been really helpful in getting me thinking about art in a different way. Before, I would look at a painting or something and just think ‘I like that’ or ‘I don’t like that’ – but now I’m really thinking about what the artwork means or what it’s trying to say.” – Laura


Laura discovered the different career paths someone with an interest in fashion can pursue, and was ultimately successful in securing a college place in Fashion for when she finished the course. She was also successful in securing a job at a clothing shop in Glasgow city centre.

“Fashion was always something I was interested in but never something I thought I could do professionally. Talking to people at Impact Arts about what jobs there are showed me that it could be a career path, and I don’t think I would have had the confidence otherwise to go to college for it.” – Laura

“I would have never got the job without my employability work. Doing the mock interviews really boosted my confidence.”– Laura

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