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When Sam first joined the Work Ready Extra programme, he lacked confidence in himself, his skills and his abilities. He was an eccentric character which stood him apart from the other learners and made it hard for him to develop his communication skills and bond with his classmates.

During the programme Sam built up his confidence and was talking to and working with various members of the group. Sam was very supportive and always gave a helping hand whenever a colleague of his needed it. He always worked as part of a team and was very encouraging towards other classmates.

Despite having money issues Sam put all of his effort into attending the classes and completing his work. Sam was working towards a level 2 and created work to a high standard. After 14 months of being unemployed and attending numerous interviews, Sam successfully secured an apprenticeship within Customer Service and Hospitality.

“The rest of my time would be either applying for jobs or adventuring and getting glimpses of new things. I had been on other work programmes, which didn’t work out so well.” I was treated very unfairly on a few occasions and it got me down. They never had belief in anyone and would try to shatter people’s confidence in an instant.”

One day, Sam was invited to attend an induction at the centre in Canterbury. He thought it would be a waste of time because of his previous experiences with other work programmes that left him feeling down and emotionally drained. Sam and other students were given team building tasks to encourage them to get to know each other and feel more confident. To his surprise, Sam found both teachers and learners pleasant and easy to get on with.

“My tutor Mandy helped guide me to my potential without trying to brainwash me into being a certain way. She let you simmer your ideas and allowed you the space to keep your own individuality.”

Sam commended the work of teaching assistants, Raj and Toni, who provided their time to help him apply for jobs, get and prepare for interviews and solve other issues in a relaxed and supportive way. Sam claimed Toni helped him increase his motivation and gave him the confidence to succeed in finding a job.

“If you were stuck on anything you got full support from the tutors and if you missed a day, you were given the chance to complete the work you had missed. The other learners were very supportive of each other, we encouraged each other and everybody was on the same level. The days were never a bore, it was always fun!”

Bearing in mind Sam hadn’t had an interview for about 8 months, he started getting interviews after a week of starting his programme at KT&A. he kept a folder recording all his interviews which was full by the time he finished the course.

“I had an interview for a Customer Service and Hospitality Apprenticeship at Kent Enterprise House. At this moment I felt like I was in the best frame of mind to succeed and came out of the interview feeling optimistic. An hour later, I received a call to come back the next day for a couple of hours. That day I was then offered the role and I started in January 2014.”