Turn the clock back six years and Ben had just finished sixth form and was unsure what to do next. Working with Govia Thameslink Railway changed his life.
“I was 18. I was a typical teenager in that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life and I lacked motivation. Eventually my dad encouraged me to go down to the local community centre."It was the last day of The Prince’s Trust course for work experience on the railway. I applied to take part and the next day I had a phone interview and got invited to a taster day. “I was sceptical. I thought it was going to be one of those ‘go out and you can do it’ courses. But the first day was eye-opening.
The Prince’s Trust trainers were so welcoming and understanding of everyone’s circumstances.
"There were a lot of people who were struggling, and work wasn’t working for them. “A lot of employers would read your CV and say you don’t have a lot of experience, but it’s difficult because you’re 18. You need to get experience somewhere. The Prince’s Trust aren’t like that. They see what skills you have and ask you where you would like to go, which is cool. They don’t shy away from a challenge.
“Everyone was treated as individuals and everything they said was tailored to people’s needs. It was really refreshing to see. The trainers were very firm with us, but fair.
“I did a placement at King’s Cross and Finsbury Park stations. I think there were 15 or 16 people on my course and all of us but one was offered a job. It was awesome to get a job. I was given a role in revenue control on the gateline at St Pancras, which I did for a couple of years. Now I’m a Rail Enforcement Officer and I’m waiting to start my training to become a Train Driver after passing all the assessments.
I think my dad would be shocked if he was told six years ago this is where I would end up. Getting in touch with the Prince’s Trust changed my life.
"I had a mortgage at 20 and a daughter by the time I was 22. At 24, I’m set to train as a Train Driver, which is a well-paid and a sought-after position. I have done a lot in a short space of time. None of it would have been possible if it hadn’t been for The Prince’s Trust and the people in our company who give so much of their time to support young people.”