Michael is Aiming Higher
YESTERDAY 19-year-old Michael Doggart started as a store and warehouse operative with Colin Adams Motor Parts in Belfast, his first ever paid post.
Just six months ago Michael thought he would "never get a job" but through the support of his business mentor Robert Mc Cord, from the Odyssey Trust, he has grown in confidence and really developed his customer service skills.
"After meeting Robert my mentor multiple times I've gained a lot more confidence in myself," said Michael.
"The main aims of our meet ups were to improve my customer service skills within my work placement. This has definitely helped me gain employment."
Michael is just one of seven young people who attended a special celebration event, hosted by Sammy Douglas MLA, at Parliament Buildings, Stormont last week. The young people are all participants on Aiming Higher, an employability initiative funded by Big Lottery NI and delivered by Business in the Community and Include Youth.
Michael first heard of the programme through his involvement with the Belfast Trust's Employability Service. The referral was predominantly to help source a work placement, as Michael wouldn't be able to achieve his Level 2 Motor Vehicle qualification without it.
With a wealth of knowledge in relation to cars Michael was offered a work placement with Colin Adams Motor Parts, which he attended while on Aiming Higher. There he received high praise for his time keeping, attendance, motivation and work ethic and upon completion of his placement was offered 30 hours a week paid employment.
Michael said: "I'm really happy I got a job, as I was beginning to feel like this would never happen."
The next phase of the project is due to commence in May 2014 and will run until October 2014and Business in the Community is actively recruiting mentors and young people in care or leaving care from the Greater Belfast and South Eastern areas to build on the success of the programme.
For more information email Loraine Devlin, Aiming Higher Mentoring Worker, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For more information contact Sharon Whittaker, Communications Officer at Include Youth, on 028 9031 1007 or email email@example.com