Ben Jewers-Pettinger, 22, from Leeds, began struggling with depression and anxiety towards the end of school. Ben’s life took a downward spiral, and he was unemployed for three years after sixth form. Eventually, he found The Prince’s Trust Team programme, which built up his confidence and motivation and supported him to find his first work placement.
“I went from being a grade A student at GCSEs to failing every exam I took in my last year of school. After I left school, the depression took over and I retreated into myself for years, becoming a social recluse.”
Eventually, Ben worked up the courage to sign on at the Job Centre, where he was referred to The Prince’s Trust by his Job Coach.
Ben began the 12-week Team programme with some trepidation, but soon grew more comfortable with his group and began to come out of his shell. Through Team, he took part in a one-week residential trip, completed a two-week work placement, fundraised money for a community project and confidently led his team’s group presentation at the end of the programme.
“Part of the programme was work experience. I worked with construction company Balfour Beatty for a few days, and they said they saw my promise and wanted to work with me.
“I started in an administrative role in June 2020, and then in May 2021 I was taken on as a Data Analysist Apprentice. I always thought I couldn’t have a job, and now I’ve held one down in a pandemic!
“It’s so important for our future that businesses think about becoming more sustainable. If it wasn’t for an investment in sustainable jobs, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Ben also spends his time volunteering as a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.