Louis finds a Pathway to work
Location: Greater Manchester, North West
ESF Funding: Skills Funding Agency
ESF Target Group: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)
Louis Turner had good GCSEs, a solid college qualification in plastering, work experience at a warehousing company and a driving licence, but he still struggled to find employment. The 19 year-old had applied for over a hundred jobs without success, but his fortunes changed with the help of the Pathways project in Greater Manchester, and now he has a full time job as a retail sales assistant.
Backed by the European Social Fund, Pathways is run by Rathbone, a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation providing opportunities for young people to transform their lives. Pathways helps teenagers gain qualifications and employability skills to help them into work. In Louis’ case his tutors taught him to take heart, use his personality and be more proactive in his job hunt.
"I spent four months looking for a job and it was terrible" said Louis, "all my friends had money and were going out while I had to stay in. I applied for over a hundred jobs and even tried to work at a department store over Christmas – as an elf!"
Despite his disappointments, Louis persisted, and with the encouragement of Pathways case tutors he visited work premises in person and handed over his CV. His positive attitude impressed bosses at a local Holland & Barrett health food store.
"Most of the shops I approached wouldn’t even take my CV" continued Louis, "but Holland & Barrett said they would look at it and ring me back within a week. They phoned back the next day!"
Now employed at the Ladysmith Centre store as a full-time sales assistant, Louis has ambitions to travel the world. His childhood dream was to be a fireman and he still has an interest in joining the Service. But for now, he is happy holding down a job and appreciates the training and other development opportunities this has given him.
Louis is one of the early successes of the Pathways Project which began in November 2011. Pathways is supported by the Skills Funding agency with finance from ESF. It is a supportive initiative that aims to help 16-18 year-olds in Greater Manchester who are not in education, employment or training. The programme helps young people acquire confidence by overcoming personal barriers and changing "can’t" into "can". Each young person taking the Pathways route is given a personal mentor to help them with their journey.
Tutors are convinced that anyone joining the Pathways Project will make many new friends along the way. With tips on building-up your CV and advice on interviews and completing job applications they offer plenty of help for those engaged in finding work. As well as building skills, trainees are also able to take part in less structured activities. The scheme offers flexible hours and Rathbone are able to assist trainees with travel expenses.
Pathways Project runs in the following areas of Greater Manchester:
- Manchester city
- Tameside and,