My name is Rikesh. I’m a young person who has been receiving support from The Prince’s Trust for a year and a half.
Before joining The Prince’s Trust I graduated in Graphic Design in 2012. I worked as a Design Lead & Social Media Manager for JokePit a comedy company and a London Lead Photographer for PlanetPass, a travel company. Both positions were incredible but only temporary. I have since struggled to find new opportunities, due to a lack of experience and a barrier of not living in London. I have felt alone, depressed and there has been no support for me.
I discovered The Prince’s Trust through watching an episode of the BBC One Show, which led me to want to find out what they could offer me. I was blown away by the amazing personalised support and ‘once-ina-lifetime’ upskilling opportunities.
Prior to attending my first Prince’s Trust programme I had no expectations and, being an open-minded person, I wanted to gain knowledge. I felt excited and optimistic about the day. I was booked into the Future Leaders programme, which aims to boost young people’s confidence, employability and self-awareness to help them find their inner leader. I approached the lobby of the London building and was greeted warmly by Jamie Loyn, an Operations Executive in East London. Jamie’s positive energy and approachable nature quickly put me at ease.
Future Leaders was an amazing workshop allowing you to see your true value, and how to acknowledge the part of your mind that is stopping you from developing further.
It was the first pilot programme launched by the legendary England Football Coach and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Gareth Southgate, which has successfully rolled out as an integral ongoing programme to support young people. The Future Leaders programme delves deeply into your core values, what you bring to people and potential companies that you could work for, giving and receiving appreciation of who you are. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in Future Leaders; it allowed me to appreciate myself and make me feel positive about my future.
I decided to seek further support from The Trust, and I became aware of a monthly Get Hired Live event, whereby several companies present job opportunities that are dedicated to Get Hired Live attendees -allowing young people to have the first chance to impress. Despite me having a degree, with transferable skills to offer to companies, my barriers have been not being able to secure job interviews in London due to the location I live in; not having in working experience to demonstrate my skills; and lacking in confidence to showcase the skills that I have.
Get Hired Live helped unlock all those barriers, enabling me to have guaranteed face-to-face job interviews in a London venue with a multitude of companies in different sectors – understanding and identifying areas that are definite skills to demonstrate during the interview, which ultimately boosts my confidence by making me feel suitable for the role that I wish to be considered for. Essentially, it’s eliminated the very stressful application process.
This is a great event to hone your newly-developed interview skills that you will have prepared in advance, working with your dedicated Prince’s Trust Executive or Mentor. They provided me with 1-2-1 support to discover transferable skills that I could mention and, a few days after the event, I had a dedicated call to discuss the constructive feedback from the employers.
If you don’t have a Prince’s Trust Executive or Mentor, you can be assigned one easily; they are amazing and offer you so much support and encouragement to give you the best chance in securing a second interviews! They also want to support you in other areas, and are always willing to speak with you. My Mentor has helped me understand my strengths and areas that I need to develop further to improve myself and become even more employable.
I asked The Trust if there were opportunities to develop my skills and gain experience in a working environment. I was so pleased to discover the amazing volunteering roles within The Prince’s Trust, with my key interest to be involved with the Innovation Team. Initially the role was working physically at the newly-built office in South London. However, due to the coronavirus, we had to innovate and rethink our working situation. But this hasn’t affected my overall experience. In fact, it has been more beneficial as the team have become much closer and intimate. Being a member of the Innovation Team, we are thinking about how we can support young people at these difficult times, with the aim to reassure young people that The Prince’s Trust is still there but in a digital form. My involvement is to find great roles for young people to apply for on our active Get Hired Jobs Board, thinking about new ideas to encourage young people to apply to our ongoing digital-based programmes.
Working from home has been going better than expected. I usually prefer working in person but, as a team, we are always connected and engaged using Microsoft Teams. If I have any problems I can easily communicate via the chat, video callor screen-sharing. This gives me the support that I need to keep productive. As a team we keep an open dialogue allowing us to help and give each other motivation, along with comical laughter and memes to boost us throughout the day.
Throughout these times, the support from Trust Executives, my Mentor and the Innovation Team has kept me grounded and happy.
I wake up in the morning knowing that I have a purpose and feel that my skills are being utilised to help others.
Having a structure has helped me a lot; working within the Innovation Team, eating healthily, going out for my daily exercise and walking to reflect and unwind on my day, and then switching off with a good night’s rest!
The future is exciting, and the pandemic has opened new avenues for Innovation for The Prince’s Trust, bringing new solutions to help young people and businesses. I look forward to being introduced into different areas, from digital marketing to data analytics.
My most important piece of advice to young people is to REACH OUT to The Prince’s Trust. They are there to help you and support your future decisions!
Chat to the Prince’s Trust today www.princes-trust.org.uk