Cardiff schoolgirl who left school without any GSCEs finds dream job as estate agent

A teenager from Pontprennau who left school without any GSCEs as a result of Covid-19 has landed her dream job as an estate agent thanks to support from a Cardiff-based training provider.

Katie Pearce, age 18, struggled at school with a lack of motivation and drive. As youngsters across the city wait for the first set of traditional GCSE results since 2019, Katie is keen to reassure them that even if exams don’t go their way, there is support available for everyone to find the right career path.

When she left Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, in 2020, Katie was unable to complete her GSCEs because of the Covid-19 pandemic and felt like her future had been put on hold. So, she spoke with a career advisor who suggested she contact training and skills provider, Itec.

After talking it over with her dad, Katie decided to sign-up as a learner and began a retail and customer service course. She then went onto obtain qualifications in communication skills and employability skills which helped prepare her for the world of work.

Katie says: “I’ve always just wanted to help people and make them feel happy which is why I chose retail and customer service.

“When I was at Itec’s centre in Cardiff, I had motivation and drive that I didn’t have in school because I finally felt like I was working towards something. I always knew that I’d to be an estate agent so began to speak to Itec about how to go about it.”

Clare Jones, Katie’s placement officer at Itec, saw Katie’s potential and championed her progress. Clare arranged Katie’s first placement at the British Heart Foundation, which Katie found helpful for gaining experience and practicing her newly learned skills.

Katie, with Clare’s support and her newfound confidence from the British Heart Foundation, felt that she was maturing, and her communication skills were improving.

With Katie’s aspirations in mind, Clare was determined to find a placement at an estate agency that was right for her. Though it was a challenge to find an estate agency to take on a learner with no previous experience, Clare never gave up.

Clare Jones, Katie’s placement officer at Itec, says: “The first time I met Katie she said that she wanted to be able to help people find their dream homes whether first home, dream home or family home.

“Katie has such enthusiasm and has never lost sight or focus on what she wanted.”

Clare helped Katie secure a placement at Harry Harper Sales and Lettings in Cathays where she now works as a trainee negotiator. Her new role involves answering phone calls, managing appointments, booking and following up on house viewings, and liaising with tenants.

Benjamin Churchill, managing director at Harry Harper said: “This is our first time taking on a trainee from Itec and Katie has been a fantastic addition to our team. She’s very hardworking, well-spoken, and professional.  

“We have been very pleased with her progress and it is clear that her passion for property shines through and can see a long and successful career with us ahead of her.” 

Katie continues: “Working with an estate agency you get to see really happy moments like people buying their first home or moving away from home for the first time and I’m glad I get to be a part of that.”

Katie plans to learn more about properties and company protocols while she works to become a fully trained negotiator. She hopes to someday work her way up to the position of branch manager.