“At 17 I had big plans to be an aeronautical mechanic but I miserably failed my first year of sixth form. Grades were heavily based on exams and I just couldn’t cope with the pressure. That was the start of two incredibly long years of unemployment.
“I would apply for loads and loads of jobs but kept hearing back the same thing. You don’t have enough experience. It was so frustrating – nobody would take a chance on me so I couldn’t gain any experience.
“I was a shy person anyway but my confidence continued to deteriorate over the two years. I suffered with stress and anxiety, particularly when I was put in unfamiliar situations. At one point I didn’t leave the house for six months.
“I came across YG by chance – they approached me about a course they had on offer. I was dubious at first and was so nervous I nearly didn’t show up on my first day. I am so glad that I did. YG managed to take me out of my comfort zone and rebuilt my confidence. I made great friends and we formed a really strong team. We all encouraged each other and I pushed myself more than I have before because I didn’t want to let my team mates down.
“As part of the course I completed a work placement at Mercedes Benz working in their mechanics team. YG helped me prepare for the interview and then supported me during the placement. The staff at Mercedes were so pleased with me at the end of the two weeks they asked for my CV and have recommended me for their apprenticeship programme.
“I feel really proud of myself and it is such a nice feeling to be wanted. I feel like I’m on the road to an amazing career now thanks to the unique support YG gave me.