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Youth Zone member James, proves he has the skills to ‘Get A Job’!

7th August 2017 by Onside Youth Zones

James Maroun (age 19) has gained full time employment at Costa Coffee, after completing the ‘Get A Job‘ employability skills course at Wigan Youth Zone.

James struggled to find suitable full time employment after leaving college. His local job centre recommended Wigan Youth Zone’s ‘Get A Job’ course, which offers work placement opportunities with various companies in and around Wigan. All students taking part in the course were guaranteed an interview with an employer at the end of the course which motivated James to enroll.

‘Get a Job’ is a project facilitated by national charity for young people OnSide Youth Zones. It is supported by Accenture Foundation UK and aims to help 16 to 21-year olds to gain the skills needed to secure employment.

“When I left school I enrolled at college to study music. Around one year into the course I decided the course wasn’t for me and began looking for full time work,” said James.

“Over the summer I worked at Domino’s, but things didn’t work out. I left Domino’s and was on Universal Credit for a few months whilst looking for work before the job centre told me about the ‘Get A Job’ course.

“The course stood out to me because there was the potential to get a real job at the end of it. I was desperate to ‘get the job’ and the course seemed like a great opportunity for me to get an interview with Costa Coffee.”

James started the ‘Get A Job’ course in January 2017 with the course running for eight weeks, approximately four times per year.

“My ‘Get A Job’ experience was really good, I made new friends and was supported by the team,” he continued. “During the course we covered things like mock interviews and CV writing, I already had a CV but it wasn’t very good, but the team at Wigan Youth Zone helped me improve it.

“After months of unemployment my confidence had taken a knock, but after completing the ‘Get A Job’ course I was much more confident when it came to the Costa Coffee interview. I gave it one hundred percent and felt great knowing I had done my best.

“After my interview, I did a trial shift at Costa Coffee, this really helped me stand out and show the employer I was capable of doing the job.

“I was offered the job right away and this made me feel really proud of myself. I started working at Costa Coffee full time in February.

“I enjoyed the course and would recommend it to other young people struggling to get in to work.”

Ryan Bagnall, Store Manager at Costa Coffee, Wigan, said:

“James has developed a lot since he first started with us several months ago. When he first started he was quite shy, withdrawn and wasn’t confident in speaking to customers.

“James has come out of his shell a lot, he will openly start a conversation with anybody, he shows the ability multi-task and he makes great coffee!

“I would definitely consider running this scheme again with Wigan Youth Zone. It was a lot easier to recruit a suitable candidate as the young people from the course completed a work experience trial period, where I was able to access what the candidates were capable of. It has been a great experience for both me and the young people.”

Before each ‘Get A Job’ course starts, the team at Wigan Youth Zone meet with local employers in order to guarantee a real interview for the students at the end of the course. This gives the young people something tangible to work towards.

Steven Gaskell, Job Broker on the Employability Course at Wigan Youth Zone:

“James was so successful during his trial day at Costa Coffee, he did not need to complete the two week work placement and was offered the position. He worked really hard during the Get A Job course, researching the company, updating his CV and working on his interview skills – when he was offered the position, he proved to everyone that hard work pays off and the whole team are really proud of him.”