The Job Squad
On the panel today we had the first two
Prince's Trust Job Ambassadors, Shabz and Kirt. They were joined by
Ginny Lunn, Policy Director at The Trust and Michelle Dewberry.
Questions are shown in bold.
Thanks for all of your questions – we’ve been overwhelmed! It’s
ten past six and the web chat is closed, but the panel are still
going to answer your questions.
New questions will be answered at our next web chat.
I'm 22 years old, living in Swansea. I've trained for 2
years as a plasterer however to be fully qualified i need an NVQ 2
which you get from an apprenticeship, no one wants to take me on
because of my age. I've been on to 100s of websites for
apprenticeships, it's getting to the point where is if i don't
start earning money for my trade soon i'm going to have to find a
run of the mill full time job.
Please any suggestions would be amazing!
Michelle: Get yourself down to local firms in
person and meet the people who could offer you a chance. Find out
all the facts and figures about apprenticeships before you go, so
they know about subsidies and the benefits they’ll get. You don’t
need to be an expert, just able to answer his reservations.
Ginny: The Government has just announced more
funding for small businesses to take on apprentices, so some that
weren’t running schemes before might be now.
Amy Tomlinson @Minogue_1D
@PrincesTrust would i be able to get help from the
princes trust if i want to set up my own business in say 3-4 years
time? Id be 24/25 y/o
Ginny: Yes, we can help you with our Enterprise
programme until you are 30 years old.
jill hunter @daisyqueen6
@PrincesTrust what do u say to a school leaver who says
'why bother - there are no jobs?'
Michelle: If you give up, you are resigning
yourself to mediocrity at best – the benefits trap. You should
always try, it is hard, but jobs are amazing. Why would you want to
give up before you’ve started.
Ginny: There are jobs available, but you may
need to start with an entry level job and work your way up.
Michelle: Looking for a job is full time
I’m a big fan of The Apprentice. You and Stella English
have shown that you can get on in life, no matter what your
background is. What or who has been the main thing that has spurred
you on over the years?
Michelle: I had a lot of knocks when I was at
school – people told me I was thick and would never amount to
anything. I have a burning desire to prove people wrong and to be
independent. I never want to be left stranded like a shipwreck. I
also look to people who are doing the things I want to do and use
them as my role models.
Ginny: I was at a Prince’s Trust centre on
Friday and they would be inspired by what Michelle has
Michelle, You seem very confident and
go getting. Was there ever a time when you doubted
Michelle: Every single day I doubt myself,
because I’m human. But I have tools and techniques to appear
confident even when I’m not. If you think I’m confident, my
techniques are working! I used to go red in the face, then worry
about it and it would get worse.
Now I focus my thoughts by squeezing my toes in my shoe (I know
it sounds silly) it draws my focus from my face. No one knows I’m
doing it, but it works for me.
I have a question about getting a job in the property
industry. I want to work in an estate agents as a trainee lettings
negotiator but there are no vacancies in my area so, I have been
sending a letter of interest and a cv to different companies, but
have had no reply. So, where do I go from here?
Also, if there were a trainee lettings negotiator job
vacancy in, let’s say the north of England, would I be at a
disadvantage if I applied for it and moved up there. When I say
disadvantage, I mean not knowing the area that the company is
Michelle: If you’re getting no response from
sending in CVs, then try visiting the offices in person You could
offer to work for commission only while you prove yourself.
Ginny: Be proactive and go see them. If there’s
the right opportunity in another location and you’re prepared to
move then go for it.
I’ve lost everything I'm 28 what can you do to get me
back on track?
Ashley @specialistkit via twitter
Michelle: Even if circumstances seem bleak, no
one can take away your hope for the future. Find your fighting
spirit and determination to make it happen. Start right now, get a
piece of paper, take a deep breath and decide this is the moment to
change your future.
Ginny: Work out where you are today and plan
the steps you need to take to get back on track. Give us a call
tomorrow at The Trust on 0800 842 842, I’m sure we’ll be able to
Michelle: We believe in you, so believe in
yourself. Celebrate the fact that you’ve reached out through this
web chat – well done!
I am 17 very soon to be 18. I did well at school, and I
am now studying for a BTEC higher national at College which I am
doing really well with, but I have seen a brilliant franchise
business I think is perfect for me and I really like the idea of
starting and running my own business. How do I go about raising
approx £10,000 I need to buy and start this business.
Ginny: The Trust does offer loans but only for
a fraction of this amount and you’ll need to be 18 or over to
Michelle: Learn your trade, through finishing
your course. Then, if you spend some time working for a competitor,
then you’ll stand much more chance of success when you start up
yourself. A job on the shop floor will give you invaluable
experience and prepare you for running your own company – boosting
your chance of success through learning from others’ mistakes.
I have a good higher educational background but I do not
have any luck for jobs. I have been applying for the past 4 years
to call centres and retailers but I never get a successful outcome.
As I have never worked before I am finding it difficult to get a
job. I feel it is due to my interview skills which are very poor
and I feel I need extra help to gain confidence. I have joined
several agencies websites for job alerts, I have applied for many
jobs but still no luck.
Can you please advise me to what will be the best
solution for me.
Michelle: Have you ever asked for feedback at
the end of an interview? You need to know what you are doing right
and what you are doing wrong. You can also do mock interviews with
friends or contacts.
Shabz: There are short courses which help you
boost your confidence and gain skills through mock interviews.
Kirt: Find someone you trust and are
comfortable with to practice. They’ll give you good feedback.
Michelle adds: Visualise a good interview,
practice a firm hand shake, standing tall and being confident –
even if your stomach is churning. It’ll soon become a habit. Ask at
the end of the interview: ‘have you got any reservations about
giving me this job?’ You can then address their concerns before you
leave. It’s one of the most powerful questions to ask.
I am currently unemployed and struggling with finding
employment. Since my unemployment I have registered with all the
job search engines I have come across and made endless applications
for positions. I have completed a level 2 fitness instructing
course and level 3 personal training course as well as undertaking
temporary work. Can you think of other things I should
Shabz: The first place I’d go is the job
centre, I’ve seen jobs like this on the machines.
Kirt: I’d approach the leisure centre directly,
particularly with your levels of qualifications.
Michelle: I think you should create yourself a
client list, by going down to your local gym. Introduce yourself as
a personal trainer and offer some free sessions. Show how you can
build a good rapport and make yourself invaluable. Personal
training is also franchised – you may want to look into this, the
start up fees aren’t always huge. Look at all of the options.
Ginny: You may also get support through our
Enterprise programme. We’ve set up a few Zumba businesses lately,
helping young people become certified instructors. They are already
financially successful too.
I’ve just come out of work. I want to start learning for
the future, like solar power, wind turbines, but there’s no funding
from the government for this, do you know anything that can help me
I’m 31 from hull.
Ginny: Because you’ve got quite specific ideas,
you should do some research and identify the specific companies
that lead in the sector.
Michelle says: Siemens are investing in the
Hull area – check out the jobs that they advertise at their other
locations, then start to prepare yourself and position yourself for
the jobs when they come along. Build your skills and CV through
work experience and internships. This is a fantastic opportunity,
so find out all you can – don’t miss this opportunity. Get online
now – find out where the project is at. I got my first job in Hull,
so good luck.
I'd just like to start off by saying thank you for
having an organisation where people like me can tell you our
problems and you can help solve them.
Right, iv been struggling with the problem which so many
other youths are for quite a few years now - the simple matter of
finding out what I want to do. But I keep telling myself I don’t
want to end up doing a boring job which I wish I wasn’t in, so I
thought about what I really like doing, and that simply is helping
people. I have been thinking for a while about going to Africa and
helping do whatever I can for around a year - well actually that is
definitely something I AM going to do, but I am going to do that
after I have the qualifications I need to do whatever job I want to
Sorry for the rambling, but what I need help from you is
with what different routes I could take with what I want to do. I
know I want to help people for my job, whether it would be caring
for singular people or multiple people, counselling or whatever -
but I need to know what routes I could take, and if you could also
help tell me what sort of qualifications I would need for each of
these different routes.
If you could help me with this it would be absolutely
Kirt says: Organisations like VSO are set up to
help you with projects like this. You could start by volunteering
and this could lead to a career.
Shabz: If you want some time to explore what’s
best for you, then look at The Trust’s Team programme – it involves
volunteering in the community. I did the Team programme and it made
me realise there are lots of different types of careers.
Ginny: vInspired also have lots of great
Questions are in bold
I’m doing A levels this year. With fees going up to
£9000 is it worth going to uni? Do you know any companies who have
school leaver training schemes?
Ginny: It depends what your career goals are –
you still need a degree for some careers, but not for many others.
Make sure you look at all the routes available.
Shabz: Apprenticeships can be good for some
careers – and you actually get paid, rather than paying fees.
Kirt: I’ve met a lot of people who are studying
at College which is still free in many cases.
Ginny: There are lots of companies with school
leaver schemes – too many for us to mention here, so make yourself
a long list and research online.
Shabz adds: And don’t forget The Trust’s Get
into . . . programme, a course to help you secure a job or
apprenticeship in areas where there is work available.
What is the ideal way of approaching the question : Tell
us about yourself? How do I market myself without over stretching
or under selling?
Shabz says: Be positive and up-beat, keep it
real and don’t go over the top.
Ginny says: Be prepared – you’ve obviously
thought about the question. Understand the difference between
confidence and arrogance.
Kirt: Be true to yourself.
I am a 22 year old guy and I am very driven to succeed
and have a lasting career. However, I made a huge mistake that lead
to me having a criminal record for theft. I am wondering what I can
do so that this does not hold me back as I have been job hunting
over a year and getting no-where.
What if anything can I do ? I have never been in trouble
and know that if offered a position in the field I am interested in
I will strive to succeed.
Ginny says: One in five young people supported
by The Trust has an offending background – but we prefer to see the
potential not the past. You should be honest with any potential
employer. For some it’s true it will be an issue – for example in
retail – but others may not be too concerned. Depending what you’re
driven to do, you may want to consider self employment – check out
our Enterprise programme for more details.
Shabz says: It’s good that you are applying for
lots of jobs and you know what area you want to go into. Try to
broaden your horizons as you may not be able to be too picky to
Kirt: Don’t let your mistakes set you back –
everyone deserves a second chance.
About Michelle Dewberry
From her first job working on the checkouts in
Kwik Save, she rose through the business ranks in different firms
to become a self-employed global telecoms programme director.
In 2006, Michelle beat off competition from
over 15,000 people to become the winner of the second British
series of reality TV show The Apprentice, in which candidates
compete for a £100,000-a-year job working for business magnate Sir
Michelle now runs a number of ventures.
Find out more
“Thousands of young people across the country, and especially in
my home-town, Hull, are struggling to find work, which I find
incredibly sad. I know what it’s like growing up surrounded by
people who are on the dole – and it is really tough.
On the estate where I spent my childhood, my
friends used to laugh at me when I talked about trying to find a
They thought I 'was strange', and I frequently got rejected at
job interviews. I had very little confidence - and I almost decided
to give up on my ambitions. I’m so glad that I managed to change my
life for the better – and I am living proof that other young people
can do the same.
“We need to give young people today hope for the future, as the
UK simply can’t afford to have a whole generation of wasted talent
and dreams. With support from organisations like The Prince’s
Trust, it is possible to turn young lives around.”
The February Job Squad
The Job Squad will also include The Trust’s policy
director, Ginny Lunn and two Prince's Trust Young
Find a job
Ready to start earning money?
- Directgov offers help with jobhunting and
planning your career. Find out more
Become an Apprentice
Apprenticeships can be a good option if you want to earn a
weekly wage while developing skills in a particular field.
- The National Apprenticeships Service gives you
a range of information to help you decide if Apprenticeships are
the right route for you. Find out more
- Directgov also has lots of advice and
information about Apprenticeships.
Find out more
You probably have more options than you think. You could
gain more qualifications, look for your first job, find an
apprenticeship, or look into training or voluntary work.
There's lots of help for you online and we’ve collected together
some of the best sites below.
Continue in education
Studying for more qualifications could be a great step towards
finding the job that's right for you.
- Directgov offers a range of options if you'd
like to stay in education.
Find out more
Volunteering can develop your skills and give you valuable
experience, and there are loads of opportunities out there.
- vinspired can link you up with volunteering
opportunities near you. Find