Kieran had been unemployed for 13 months and was unsure what to do next. Talent Match helped match his musical flair with a recording studio and mentor to help him find paid work in an industry he loves.

Kieran, 26, from Leicester, had had a challenging upbringing. His parents had split up when he was young and he spent most of his teenage years shuttled between Essex and Leicester when his parents relocated. Struggling to deal with problems at home, he started getting involved with alcohol and drugs which led him to getting in trouble with the police and criminal justice system. Kieran had been out of work or training for 13 months and wasn’t sure what to do next.

Kieran had a passion and flair for music, but realised his lack of experience was holding him back and felt not enough opportunities were being given to young people by major companies, particularly in the creative industry. Kieran realised he needed to make a change. When he saw a post on social media about Talent Match in Leicester, he decided to give it a go. He soon realised that Talent Match could offer more than what he’d expected. As Kieran explained,

Talent Match can help people in many different ways... It could be CV skills, it could be interviews into work. It’s also personal support. It’s not just them saying ‘you can go into a classroom now and learn this because that’s what we’re telling you to do.’ Talent Match is more about easing you into it and they’ll say, ‘Well you can come down, see what it’s about. If you don’t like it, or it’s not for you, then try something else’.

Talent Match recognised Kieran’s musical abilities and soon a relationship with a partner organisation, HQ Recordings, was established. HQ were able to work with Kieran to equip him with the skills he needed to thrive in the music industry. Kieran found the going into a workplace after spending so long unemployed was the biggest challenge. However, with the support of his mentor, he was eased into the process. Despite Kieran’s worries, Yasin El Ashrafi (Managing Director at HQ Recording) was impressed with Kieran and offered him paid work through his ‘Step Up’ programme (funded by Leicester City Council and Talent Match Leicestershire).

Yasin is now working with Kieran to set up his own business, as well as working on a number of events. Kieran’s feeling positive about his future as he wishes to become a successful and established artistic management company.

Since joining Talent Match, everything has changed. My outlook on life has changed, the way I live my life and my lifestyle has changed. I’m more positive. I’m able to speak to people that I’d have probably just shied away from and not spoken to or had any conversation with. But it’s given me the confidence to want to achieve more from my life.

Kieran is currently building the foundations of his record label and events company with the help of HQ Recordings and The Prince’s Trust through the Enterprise programme. He’s also an active member of the Talent Match Youth Board helping other young people who have found themselves trapped in a circle of long-term unemployment. Kieran’s advice to others in a similar situation was,

Don’t ever give up, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel!

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