Going from NEET to employed during a global pandemic

Recently, #Focus5 managed to help a returning participant find his way again. “C” had already been though the programme and managed to land himself a place on his favoured college course. However, it did not take long for the wheels to come off. C stopped attending his course and as he was unemployed, the college referred him back to the #Focus5 project.

C was paired with his old key worker and it soon became apparent that our young person would not engage with any form of education. On the first meeting our key worker noticed that C was not the type of young person that liked being told what to do. Noting this our key worker acted more as a guide. 

During this time, the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the world, causing mass disruption. With lockdown and safety concerns we had to change how we worked with our young people. In this case, it seemed to more helpful than a hinderance. C did not want to conduct video calls, so our key worker kept in touch through text messages and phone calls and acted in an advisory capacity.

We supported C’s decision to study a short online course in Food Hygiene, providing funding he needed to complete it. C wanted to boost his employability and was looking towards securing a full-time job. After completing his training, he applied for a job but was unsuccessful. C managed the knock back with impressive maturity. Rather than feel dejected C had a conversation with his key worker and asked to sit another online course, this time in Customer Service. Again, we supported his decision and made sure funding was available so he could complete his second online course. Once he competed the course he applied for another job at a takeaway. This time he was successful, and he is now employed and loving what he is doing. In fact, C has impressed his employers so much that they are looking to keep him after the summer season has ended. We can attribute C’s success to completing both online courses.

Sometimes we can make a real effort to get on a new path that turns out to not be the right one. When this happens, it can feel like time and energy has been wasted but that is never the case. In fact, what happens next is all determined by the attitude we have when looking ahead for a new opportunity. This is exactly the case with our young person. It took maturity and motivation for C to change direction. Everyone at #Focus5 is so proud of C for showing such commitment to his new path.