Creating Confidence!

Course gives the gift of confidence to jobseekers

MORE than 500 job applications later it’s hardly surprising that Lee Tams felt he had no prospect of a better future.

The 24-year-old from Newcastle had completely given up, having had little or no response from the 15 job applications he had made each week over the nine months he was seeking Jobseekers Allowance.

With poor results in his GCSE’s and only an NVQ Level 2 qualification in retail and customer service, it was clear his CV was going to the bottom of the pile and his confidence and motivation dropped to an all-time low.

Signing on one day, he got talking to Prince’s Trust Team Leader, Beth Alvey, and from that day his life finally changed for the better.

Lee explains:

“I’d done small pub and retails jobs in the past, but I’d completely given up to be honest. Having done nothing for so long I’d lost all motivation and felt there was no point looking for a job anymore. Beth was in the job centre and started chatting to me and she sold the Prince’s Trust course to me to be honest. When I started it in that first week I was a bit nervous, as it’s hard to get motivated having done nothing for so long, but we did a community project tidying up a garden for elderly people, then when it came to work experience Beth and I sat down and began to put together ideas into a plan. I’d thought about going into the care industry for a while, so she set up the placement for me at the charity Headway, and I did a couple of weeks with them. They were so pleased they said they’d give me a job if they had one, and I still volunteer there now. I went on to finish my Level 1 qualification in health and social care, and when I finished my qualification I decided to knock on the door at Lyme Valley House residential care home , which is just doors away from me in Newcastle, to see if they had a job. From that I got an interview and now I’m working towards becoming a senior careworker. I’m really enjoying working – it’s brilliant, really good fun. Before the course I don’t think I would have knocked on the door as I felt there was no point. The course gave me the drive to want to do something better and that I wasn’t a waste of space. Of course, people have to want to do it for themselves, and if you really want to better yourself the Prince’s Trust team will support you all the way.”

And Lee’s not the only one to have totally transformed his life thanks to the confidence The Prince’s Trust 12-week programme gave him. Prince’s Trust team leader Beth Alvey, said more than 290 teams had now completed the course run through Stoke on Trent College, and had gone on to either employment or training.

She said:

“James Amos is another great example of someone who had lost confidence and got into a negative frame of mind, yet he had so much to offer. He was in the same team as Lee, and has now been given a full time job at Caudwell Children having come on the Prince’s Trust course not really knowing what he wanted to do. He had done a placement there through our programme and they liked him so much they kept him and he works as a Community Projects Volunteers Co-ordinator.”

Other Prince’s Trust team members who have gone on to training and employment include:

  • Nathan Blundred, aged 21, from Bentilee, came to the Prince’s Trust having been on Jobseekers Allowance for 15 months. He wanted to build his confidence and secure employment from the course, and although he was quiet to begin with, taking part in the fundraising activities and community project helped him come out of his shell and develop his teamwork skills. From a work placement at Go Outdoors in Hanley, has gained a glowing report, and he has now been offered a job at the store.
  • Lee Reader, aged 17, from Meir, joined the Prince’s Trust team to boost his confidence, meet new friends and gain direction. Previously Lee was looking at courses in joinery and to progress on to a Level 2 qualification, but needed to boost his confidence and self esteem. After completing the course and gaining his Prince’s Trust certificate Lee has enrolled onto the Level 2 course in joinery and is enjoying learning new skills.
  • Zaqaf Hussain, 19, from Tunstall was referred onto the programme by the job centre to develop skills for employment. His aim was to become a gym instructor and the course enable him to complete his work experience at Jubilee 2 in Newcastle. He is now at Stoke on Trent College undertaking a Level 2 gym instructing course and is also working part time.

The Prince’s Trust Team programme is 12-week self-development programme for anyone aged 16-25 which focuses on confidence building, teamwork and communication skills and problem solving. It is perfect for anyone who isn’t sure what to do next, and the next programme is due to start in May.

For more information about the Prince’s Trust in Staffordshire call 01782 603790, or contact the Stoke-on-Trent College Recruitment Team on 01782 208208 or email

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