Just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, 24-year-old Benjamin from South London completed a Get into Technology programme with The Prince’s Trust in partnership with Generation and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Four months later, he is still actively job searching, and is staying positive about his future.

“I heard about The Prince’s Trust throughout my time at secondary school. But it was last year when I was made redundant that I got in touch with The Prince’s Trust. Since then, it’s taught me so much.”

After studying Business Studies at college and Property Development and Management at Greenwich University, Benjamin got a job at a transport provider company, but unfortunately the company had significant challenges and Benjamin was made redundant. The company has now gone into administration.

“I went to the Job Centre and my work coach put me in touch with The Prince’s Trust. In November 2019, I joined the Get into Technology programme. I’ve always had an interest in new technology, and the mechanics behind how things work. I always want to know what goes on behind the scenes.”

The Get into Tech programme, delivered in partnership with Amazon Web Services and Generation, is a 12 week programme designed to teach young people everything they need to know for a cloud technology career, including coding languages, technical knowledge and employment skills.

I’ve never worked in a tech job before, and didn’t have any tech experience, so the programme was perfect. It gave me an insight into what my career holds for the future. At the end of the programme, I passed my AWS Cloud Practitioner exam and then started preparing for interviews.

When the programme finished in February, Benjamin started looking for jobs straight away, while continuing to learn more and develop his skills. He had a few telephone interviews and progressed to face-to-face interviews, but these were postponed due to the pandemic outbreak.

“Now, I’m still actively looking for work. It’s been a long time and it’s been tough but I’m doing projects to stay up to date with the technology. The course didn’t just teach me IT skills, it taught me fundamentals like having a growth mindset and persistence. When things don’t go my way, I just persist through it. Failures are not exactly failures; they are lessons that you can learn from which overall help to build character.”

Benjamin is renting privately in London and says financially these last few months have been a bit of a struggle. His mental health is up and down – he has a good support network with his partner and family, and his mentor Natalie at The Prince’s Trust, but has days when things are tough.

I would like to see the economy pick up in the next few months and see more job openings. I was in the middle of that process of interviews and Covid put that on pause. I hope soon I can pick up with those companies again. For now, I’m just persisting keeping myself busy doing proactive projects to pass the time, and The Prince’s Trust and Generation have been really supportive. I’m just doing my best and trying adapt to current circumstances.