Amy Edwards's reply:
Firstly, well done on getting those qualifications - these will give you a great solid grounding for a career in web design.
In terms of the experience side of things, I agree it can be tricky but it’s all about having confidence and showing an employer what you can do. The first thing you need to do is try and put some kind of portfolio together which shows off your key skills within the area. Make sure this is available both online (using something like WordPress as a CMS) and offline.
In terms of getting the experience itself, try approaching small, local design agencies first and foremost and see if you’d be able to go in for one day a week over the course of a few months - from an employer prospective, an agreement like this can be much more appealing because they don’t feel like they have to give up lots of time and effort in one go.
Similarly, try approaching local charities and small businesses to see if they need any help and volunteer your time and skills for free - this will give you valuable commercial experience and will help to give you more material for your portfolio.
When approaching businesses, don’t focus on the skills you don’t have. Remember, you don’t want to give them a reason not to take you on! Pitch the skills you do have and make it clear that you’re keen to learn and progress within the industry - and they’re the company that can help you out.
I hope this all helps