Luke Wootton – Sandwell Startship 2021

Luke joined our Startship programme in the hope it would lead to more opportunites in the job market, after building up his confidence during the course he is employed in a Kickstart position with JD Sports.

What were you doing before you started the programme?
Luke was unemployed and in his words, “I was doing nothing, getting nowhere with interviews, doing some work experience here and there, I picked up a couple of courses and did some voluntary work to put on my CV. Covid-19 was also getting in the way of opportunities.”

How did you find out about the training?
His Work Coach told him about the Startship programme. He was not made to do the course but given the choice which he was happy to accept as he thought it would be a good opportunity to lead to something better.

Why did you decide to join?
After receiving advice from his Work Coach and staff at Release Potential. Luke thought it was the best option he had that could lead to the possibilities of interviews.

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
“I thought it was amazing. It built my confidence and helped me to speak more about myself. I spoke on camera during the show and I’m pleased I did. We had to do things we’d never done before like camera work and editing. It helped to develop my skills, I learned quickly to do new things. Overall it was a great experience. I’d like to go back and do it again!”

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“I needed to build my confidence. I usually like working alone but I learned to overcome my fear of working in groups.”

What are you doing now?
Luke is employed in a Kickstart role as a Retail Assistant at JD Sports. He describes his main activities as assisting the general public, providing customer service, helping in the sales process and working to targets.

What impact has the training had on your life?
“The Startship was instrumental in helping me to gain employment and get this role. I had no hope at first, but it made me more determined. I wanted to work and was more determined at the end of the course than I was at the start.”

What are your plans for the future?
Luke says although he is enjoying his current role, he is uncertain if he is going to be kept on due to budgets. However, as he says he is in paid work and benefiting from a good experience.
He wants to obtain full-time work. He has the responsibility of a young family being a father of two children and wants to do more for them.
Luke has a few ideas in mind and feels more optimistic about the future now that he has the experience of working and paid employment.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“I would recommend it to anyone. It’s the best experience you can get, it’s worked for me and it can work for anyone else too if you’re willing to give it a try. I’m still in contact with some of the people from my course, we speak and meet up sometimes. The support from Release Potential is good, they keep on calling me, and it’s great to know someone else is actually bothered about helping me.”

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