George Clark – Kickstart Success 2022

George completed our Kickstart Success programme in January 2022 and two weeks later found himself in employment! The course helped George gain confidence and gave him the IT skills needed to find work in the IT sector. We caught up with George to sum up his experience with Release Potential, and how he is feeling about his first day in his new role!

What were you doing before you started the programme?
George had attended the University of Worcester for three years where he studied a BA (Hons) in Journalism. After completing, he suffered from ill-health for a year which negatively impacted his job search, during which time he was unemployed. Whilst studying George had always worked part-time and had gained experience in a variety of roles including waiter, bartender, food retail and digital marketing.

How did you find out about the training?
George received a message about the IT course in his journal from his Work Coach, Julie. He was interested in developing his IT skills further, and so followed this up with a discussion with a member of staff from Release Potential who gave him the information he needed to make up his mind.

Why did you decide to join?
“I’d already decided I wanted to make the switch from Journalism to IT where I had developed more interest. I’d also started to learn how to code during the pandemic to develop some skills from home and saw a much wider range of jobs were available. With the course and job opportunities available, I could see I could learn and work from home while my health continued to recover. It gave me a chance to develop a career but still be at home which suited my needs best.”

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
“The training was very well organised. I received good advice and information and really enjoyed the way the learning day was structured. The tutors were excellent, made a point to involve everyone, and made it fun. I really enjoyed learning about spreadsheets and excel. Meeting employers also gave me a good idea of the job opportunities that were available.”

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“I had lost confidence in my own abilities due to the pandemic, like a lot of young people. The course helped me build back my confidence.”

What are you doing now?
“I’m starting in a Kickstart role as a Junior Developer Designer employed by Cloud Artisans Ltd, a website application building company. It’s my first day tomorrow. It’s a home working role. Following my initial training, I’ll be supporting clients, in particular, not for profit charities, to help create solutions around their needs. I’m excited to get started.”

What impact has the training had on your life?
“The course has been a real confidence builder and helped me to get a job within 2.5 weeks of completing! It’s helped ease me back into learning and now work again, increase my IT skills and understand what employers are looking for in their staff. It also gave me routine and structure and an opportunity to interact with other people outside of my immediate circle.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I’m focusing on the next six months, growing my skills and gaining more experience in the sector. In the future, I would like to gain a permanent position with a higher salary, and perhaps consider taking a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“Do the course, it’s a good opportunity to gain new skills, grow confidence, and establish a routine again. It makes you think about the opportunities out there. Staff on the course help you in ways I didn’t expect – I learned how to construct a professional CV and cover letter.”

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