Amy started college straight after leaving school to start training in her chosen career of child care and development. After several years studying, she became NVQ level 3 qualified.
For six months after leaving college, Amy was unemployed before finding work in a play centre. However, after nine months, Amy was made redundant due to funding cuts. She says, “Because of my medical issues this made me feel so much worse in myself and I went downhill.”
Amy says, “When I was unemployed it was awful. I felt like I was so useless and didn't know what to do with myself. I felt like giving up, like nobody cared what was happening to the world and young people. I gave up on a lot of things in my life and just kept myself to myself and didn't really communicate with anyone or have a social life. I never had any money to do anything or buy anything I needed. All the money I got went on bills so I had somewhere to live and hide away from the world.”
Amy joined Greater Manchester Talent Match and started working with her Talent Coach, Simon Foster from the Education Training Partnership in July 2014.
As part of Greater Manchester Talent Match, Amy took part in a number of different activities, although not as many as she would of liked to. Amy got involved in CV writing, cover letters and everything else to do with preparation her work
As part of her journey to employment, Amy spent time in an apprenticeship, ran by Bury College. She says of her apprenticeship experience:
“I decided to do an apprenticeship because I needed more money and I found it easier to learn while doing the job more than just sat in a class room writing all day. I really liked the support I got from the college and the employer and also enjoyed learning and watching and then carrying out the tasks myself.”
Eight months into the programme, Amy joined the Greater Manchester Talent Match Youth Panel. She says, “When I heard about it, it jumped straight at me, straight away as it was the kind of thing I wanted to do. I have always wanted to help young people since I was in Year Ten. The Youth Panel appealed to me because I have been through so much, for example bullying, and I want to help young people that are going through the same thing, tell my story and show that there is a brighter side for everyone. You just need to push through and let them know the support that is out there for them.”
In March 2015, Amy won the Youth Panel elections to become Chair, then in October, 2015, a year and three months into the programme, Amy started work in a children’s nursery. She wrote a blog about her experience on the Youth Panel Tumblr.
She said, “This hasn’t been an easy road for me. I have had a lot of down moments through the process of moving from unemployment to really low paid apprenticeship to a full time, proper wage job that I know I am going to love. It has been a rocky road and it has been at times, difficult. There were moments when I was on the edge of giving everything up, as I didn’t see the point of keep trying, only to get another knock back.
Being unemployed I went through so many emotions, so many bad thoughts went through my mind, but with the support from my Talent Coach I pushed through those days. There were times I didn’t want to see anyone or even get of bed.
When I started my new job I was so anxious and I didn’t know what to do, but as soon as my Talent Coach reassured me that everything was going to be ok I got up, got myself ready and went for my first day at my new job. I am now in my second week and I’m really enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong I can still have those bad days but right now the good days are beating them! My message is don’t give up!”
If you are aged between 18 and 24 and are interested in finding out how Greater Manchester Talent Match can help you into employment, visit our Get Support page.