Your support couldn’t be more needed right now, as our phone and online teams continue to hear from young people who have lost their jobs, who see no prospect of getting a job, and whose plans for the future have collapsed.
For 24-year-old Shannon, emigrating from South Africa to England in February 2020 should have been the start of an exciting new chapter. Now living in Eastleigh, Shannon finished studying at the end of 2019, and emigrated in February this year. Her original plan was to try and start her own business dog-walking, but the pandemic meant she had to prioritise finding work.
“I was looking for a job, applying to lots of places but having no luck whatsoever. I was getting the interviews but never getting the job. A friend’s dad sent me the link to The Prince’s Trust Get Started with Health and Social Care course. I thought, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’ll see what they can offer on the 3 day programme and take it from there.”
“I was just looking for anything. I studied Psychology, and I wanted to use that in some way. It wasn’t a fun time, as I didn’t know a lot of people in the UK except my partner who I came over with, and family who I’m staying with at the moment. I was quite disappointed that my original plan didn’t work out, but now I’ve got a job it feels a little bit more stable. I feel like I have a purpose now, it feels really meaningful.”
Right now, Shannon is focussed on working as hard as she can and is loving what she is doing. She is so happy that she took part in the course as she is now in a job she loves.
Shannon says, “I found it really helpful on the course to look at how I could use something really small as an example to show my skills and experience. There was also not a focus on over-selling myself. I liked that we just went straight to an interview so they could see me and not just a piece of paper. I really appreciated that we were connected to an actual person!”
“I didn’t go into the course with a lot of expectations as I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I really enjoyed it. I got to see that I’m not alone in this, and there were lots of people around my age going through the same thing, getting the same feedback that they don’t have enough experience.”
At the end of the course, Shannon was invited to three interviews, and all three requested second interviews. Impressing all the employers, Shannon then got offers of employment from all three jobs, and she was able to choose which role felt best suited to her. It boosted her confidence hugely, to have not just one, but three employers, recognise her skills and want to employ her.
Shannon is now working as a support worker for Leonard Cheshire Fryers House, working with adults with physical disabilities. She helps with personal care and their day-to-day activities, as well as giving them companionship, as the pandemic has left them very isolated. In the future, she would love to use her Psychology degree to help with mental health support in some way.
Reflecting on the Get Started with Health and Social Care course, Shannon said, “I definitely think that The Prince’s Trust helped build my confidence. I was really starting to lose hope that I was going to get a job, and that confidence helped me in my interviews to be more positive. I would tell other young people just to give it your all – you don’t have anything to lose. The Prince’s Trust are there to help you, and if you just take their advice it really does work out for you.”
In these challenging times for everyone, thank you so much for thinking of what young people are going through, and supporting them as they try to navigate their lives and begin their careers amidst this crisis.