Before I joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme I had been out of work after leaving university for almost a year. I was really struggling to find a job; I was getting through to the interview stage but wasn’t being offered anything. So my work coach at DWP referred me to CXK, who felt the Prince’s Trust Team programme would be a good fit for me.
I needed to do something that would give me a sense of achievement again. I needed to prove I could fit into working a environment and commit to something.
To start with I wasn’t sure about whether the programme was right for me. I’m 24 and I knew I’d be in a team with some younger people, so I thought that either the team leaders would have low expectations of me, or that they’d expect more from me than the others.
I really settled in after residential though. Once we moved on to the community project part of the programme in week 3, I was feeling much more enthusiastic. We went to a local nursery and renovated their garden – I really enjoyed doing something practical.
My favourite part of the programme was the work experience element. I had always wanted to work in IT so I spent my placement at ADM Computing. And I got a lot out of it. I desperately needed the experience and wanted to show I had the skills to succeed in an IT role. So that work experience meant that I can now say I have experience within an IT workplace.
The programme has helped me to develop confidence and challenge myself. I’m now more willing to put myself out there and be able to commit to something.
“I learned to work as a team and found I was really good when working in a supportive role.”
I’ve always been very hard on myself. I have a life goal to get into work and be independent, and felt a failure because I hadn’t yet achieved it. The Prince’s Trust Team programme and the people on it have shown me that I’m not a failure, I just over-analyse. And I’ve realised that my tendency to over-analyse is a strength because I care; I just need to channel it in the right way.
I’m now confident about what I do know. The Prince’s Trust programme has helped me feel confident in an interview situation and in applying for jobs. I had 1:1 support and we worked on my CV and cover letter. I also did mock interviews and received feedback on what I could improve. I’d never had that kind of feedback before and it’s really helped me.
My plans for the future are to find a full time job in IT. I’m going back to ADM Computing to do some more work experience. After that I’ll be approaching companies that I really want to work for.
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is a 12 week course available to anyone living in Kent aged 16-25 and not in education, employment or training. Team gives you the chance to build your confidence, develop your Maths and English skills, gain valuable work experience, and get all of the advice and guidance you need to take the next steps towards finding a job. For further information, including how to apply, visit our Prince’s Trust Team Programme page.