“It felt great when I was offered the permanent job, after being out of work for a year I finally had something.”

Stephen Millar, aged 25 from Ballymena, worked in the construction industry for seven years before being let go in January 2020 due to a lack of available work.

He started looking for a new job and had a one-day work trial in a petrol station in March. The trial went well and he was going to be offered a job, however the following week the first national lockdown due to Covid 19 began and the job fell through. For the next few months Stephen applied for a range of jobs but couldn’t find anything suitable.

Stephen has ADHD which affects his concentration. Because of his condition he receives support looking for work from Disability Action, a charity that helps disabled people to find employment and supports them in their jobs. His support worker told him about The Prince’s Trust Get into Retail programme with Tesco and he decided to give it a try.

Get into Retail is a training and mentoring scheme that gives young people aged 16-30, not currently in full time employment, education or training, the skills, experience and confidence they need to find a job. During the programme participants complete on the job training in a Tesco store and receive regular feedback and guidance from a dedicated buddy.

“During 2020 I applied for a lot of jobs but was always turned down. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a job at all because so many places still had staff on furlough, so when I heard about the Get into Retail programme I thought it sounded like a good opportunity.

“I was placed in the Ballymena store during the three-week programme, I worked in a few different departments and learnt a lot about how retail works. I was assigned a ‘buddy’ manager who helped me and gave me useful feedback. At the end of the three weeks I was offered a temporary contract over the Christmas period and I was delighted, it felt great to be earning money again.”

While on his temporary contract Stephen continued to work with the Prince’s Trust on application advice and interview tips. He applied for a permanent role in the online shopping department of Tesco and was successful.

“It is great to be working again. I wasn’t sure how I was going to find a job, so the Get into Retail programme was a great help to me. I’d recommend it to anyone who is looking for work.

“Now that I’m in work I can still receive support from Disability Action with settling into my role. I’m so grateful to them and The Prince’s Trust for helping me to find this job.”