Youth worker Ali Abdi with young person David Singh

The Prince’s Trust has been working closely with Career Wales (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government) for more than five years to help disadvantaged young people overcome these barriers and access more promising and prosperous futures.

Ali Abdi, a Professional Youth and Community Worker with Cardiff Youth Service, working on a City wide NEET project in partnership with Career Wales, says:

Barriers to work, education, or training may be as simple as not being able to afford the first month’s bus fare into work or college, or it could be that a person has underachieved at school.

"Not because they didn’t want to learn, but because they were bullied or had problems at home that made learning or attending school difficult – and because of this, they don’t have the qualifications they need to secure an interview.

“Prince’s Trust programmes help young people overcome their barriers so that they can stand on their own two feet. I’ve seen it time and time again. For many, the programmes completely transforms their lives – they leave more employable, their confidence has grown, they feel better personally about themselves, and they have real experience and qualifications they can use to get that all important job. The Get into courses are particularly fabulous at this because they’re vocational and work on an ear-to-the-ground premise.”

In 2014, 6,024 disadvantaged young people participated in Get into’s, and left with key employability skills like communication and teamwork, as well as sector-specific skills.

Dave Singh, from Riverside in Cardiff, says: “Ali referred me to The Prince’s Trust Cymru for the Get into Customer Service with Admiral Insurance because I wanted a job and had struggled to get one after trying on my own for ages.  When I met with Ali he knew straight away what was available and when which was very useful to me making my choice.  Although I was alright at school I still lacked a bit of confidence, so when he told me about Get into I signed up right away.

“Thanks to both Ali and The Prince’s Trust I now have the confidence to apply for jobs, employer experience to add to my CV and the skills to move into employment.”

Ali continues: “I’ve referred hundreds of young people to Prince’s Trust programmes and I haven’t had a single one say that they haven’t enjoyed their time on them.”

“One of the best things, I think, is its Development Awards. When I have a young person who has all the tools they need to get into work but they don’t have the money to get the license or the uniform they need for that job, or the fare to travel to work, I can help them by applying for an award of up to £250. 

Being able to help a young person like that is a phenomenal feeling and it’s great for Cardiff Youth Service and Career Wales because it’s getting people quickly into work and improving the country’s economic wellbeing.

Of course, the economic wellbeing of a country relies on a workforce that is nationwide and this means reaching Wales’s most rural and socially diverse young people. For the last two years, Ali has represented Cardiff Youth Service on The Prince’s Trust BME Steering Group, helping to share good practice and advising how The Trust can adapt its programmes to be more culturally relevant to different community groups. Working together, The Prince’s Trust and Cardiff Youth Service with Career Wales are helping support more young people from different backgrounds and minority groups than ever before.

“The Prince’s Trust isn’t just an organisation that talks about what it wants to do, it actively goes out there and does it. Everything is geared towards helping vulnerable young people whatever their background or ethnicity.

“There’s not much red tape, in fact it’s very easy to access and the flexibility of the staff to adjust programmes to a particular client group is fantastic.

Even if I wasn’t in this role, I’d still find a way to help young people get Prince’s Trust support because I see the true benefits of what it does. It works, you know. Prince’s Trust programmes just work.