An autistic teenager forced to do her GCSEs in just six months after a violent attack is looking forward to a bright future as an apprentice.
Sophie Russell, 17, from Market Rasen, left school with three GCSEs and has now been offered a job as an administration apprentice through a new West Lindsey District Council scheme.
The Apprenticeships Work 4 You campaign is challenging businesses to create 50 apprenticeships in the district.
And Sophie - who suffered horrific injuries after being attacked by a gang in 2011 - has just been taken on at IT consultancy Stamford Infotech in Caistor.
She said: “I left school in March last year but missed the whole of year 10 for personal reasons. I did years 10 and 11 in six months and came out with three GCSEs.
“I then worked in retail and office work, mainly dealing with the public, but I’ve always wanted to go into administration.
“I was finding it difficult to get a job. I was getting interviews but they were in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t get to them as I rely on public transport.
“I was specifically looking for an apprenticeship because I was looking to get more qualifications but didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to earn while I learn as well.
“It’s great to have found something local and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
The apprenticeship is planned to last 12 months, but Mr Singh hopes to offer Sophie a permanent role at the end of the year.
Kit Singh, who runs Stamford Infotech, said: “This scheme is to put people like Sophie back in the workstream when they haven’t had chance to go to university, or didn’t want to pursue that route.”
He added: “Sophie doesn’t feel like an apprentice to me because she’s very active, she wants to learn.”