Young people celebrate successfully completing The Prince’s Trust Team programme at presentation evening in Birmingham

A group of young people, not in education, employment or training, celebrated successfully completing a Prince’s Trust employability programme at a special presentation evening in Birmingham.

The 11 young people, aged between 16 and 25, were taking part in Team, a 12-week personal development programme run by The Prince’s Trust. It is designed to help young people gain skills, work experience and self-belief, as well as achieve a nationally-recognised qualification.

The presentation evening was an opportunity for the young people to give individual presentations on the highlights of their project to family, friends, volunteers and local businesses, and talk through their own personal journeys. They also received The Prince’s Trust Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills.

This year’s Prince’s Trust Birmingham East Team programme started in August and is sponsored by PwC in the Midlands and run by West Midlands Police in conjunction with the Heart of Worcestershire College.

As part of the programme the young people completed a residential week in Cannock Chase to build team morale and trust. They also engaged in community projects helping to transform the outdoor space at Bibsy Bananas, a nursery, kids club, and youth den based in Bromford and supporting Yardley Great Trust and Millwater care home in their work to support older people.

The team raised all the money needed for each of the projects by carrying out various fundraising activities. In addition, they took part in employability sessions at PwC’s Birmingham office, where staff coached them on interview and CV skills to help build their confidence for seeking employment when the programme ends.

Terri-Ann Sparrow, from Acocks Green, age 22, was one of the young people who took part in the programme. She suffers from agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC), a rare neurological condition which, amongst other symptoms, means that she struggles to retain information, which has made studying and working more challenging for her.

She commented:

“Before starting the Team programme my confidence was really low. I found it difficult to discuss my disability with employers and I lost my previous role because I was struggling to understand instructions.

“The 12-week programme has been fantastic and I really enjoyed all of the different parts. I’ve learned lots of new skills and met many new people, and I feel I can be open with future potential employees about my condition.

Now that we’ve finished, I am working with the team leaders to try and get an apprenticeship in administration roles.”

Harriet Wileman, senior associate in transaction services at PwC in the Midlands, and the lead for PwC’s involvement in Birmingham, said:

“Together with other volunteers from our Birmingham office I’ve been working with the team since August, supporting them on the residential, with the community projects and at the employability skills sessions.

So far, five of the group have been successful in securing jobs or apprenticeships and it was wonderful to see them have the confidence to celebrate their achievements and share their personal stories at the presentation evening.”

Matt Hammond, regional chairman of PwC in the Midlands, said:

“We’re proud to support the great work The Prince’s Trust carries out in Birmingham. Speaking to many of the participants and those supporting them, the pride in the room was palpable, their self-esteem buoyed and their life skills helped along in many different ways.

“Their positive experience highlights how important it is to give young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the world of work and help to build their employability skills.”

“Working with and supporting the communities around our offices has been part of our culture for many years. It’s an integral part of being a responsible business and creates value for our communities.”

The evening also included talks from PC Vicky Jones and PC Gareth Sankey who led the project from West Midlands Police’s Acocks Green Neighbourhood; and Ingrid Ludolph, Team programme coordinator from The Prince’s Trust.

There were also short presentations from JLR (who took on several team members for work experience during the programme) and the Heart of Worcestershire College who have supported the programme.

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