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In conversation with Bailey (RISE UP Candidate)

I’m Roman, Charity Director here at RISE UP. A BIG part of my role is building partnerships and setting the direction of the charity which involves lots of discussions in board rooms whilst strategy and new initiatives excite me, young people will always remain at the heart of what we do!  We have been working closely with an incredible young man, Bailey, a former care leaver who has just secured his dream role as Multi-Channel Marketer Apprentice at Coventry Council. Bailey will also be supporting other care leavers across the region! The above is cause for celebration, right? I decided to travel over to Coventry to take him out for lunch and do just that.  I was genuinely inspired by the conversation, and we thought it would be good to create a brief Q&A…

Where were you before RISE UP?

While claiming Universal Credit and attending the job centre, I must have submitted hundreds of job applications. At that time, I applied to any job that would hire me, including roles in hospitality where I already had some experience, as well as customer service and retail positions. To be honest, my job search was random and uncoordinated. I applied for any available job without taking the time to tailor my CV or write cover letters. I simply needed a job, and all the effort of customising applications seemed like a waste of time to me.

Being a Universal Credit claimant is not the typical candidate experience. It can be challenging and, at times, humiliating when you have to request accommodations, negotiate times, or try to secure a remote interview to avoid spending your food money on bus fare. Managing this situation is incredibly difficult, and unless you muster the courage to ask for help, you will fall short, and that's the unfortunate reality. However, you shouldn't feel any less proud just because you come from challenging circumstances and lack disposable income; you still bring immense value. In fact, having dealt with these situations makes you more empathetic and understanding. You've faced tough times, overcome barriers, and tackled hurdles that others might not see or know about.

After a period of time, I found myself at a dead end in my job search. I realised I needed extra support so I began by exploring the Care Leavers Covenant app to discover local offers providing employment support. After scrolling for a while, I came across RISE UP, an organisation offering assistance to young people in my age bracket who had been unemployed for a while.

Feeling desperate for help, I decided to give RISE UP a chance.

What did the process with RISE UP look like?

I filled out an online form and was contacted by a member of the RISE UP team who wanted to understand more about my situation and how they could assist me. Shortly after this session, I received a message from the RISE UP Director, informing me that I had been partnered with a RISE UP mentor – Matt Beesley.

​​During my first call with my mentor, I felt quite nervous and unsure about what to expect. However, his friendly and comical personality quickly put me at ease, making me feel comfortable and reassured that he could help me achieve my goals. Through our weekly regular calls, my confidence grew, and I felt secure knowing I was in capable hands.

We collaborated on enhancing my CV and cover letter writing skills, as well as optimising my LinkedIn profile, which proved invaluable in securing interviews. Additionally, I received weekly interview support, ensuring I was thoroughly prepared for each meeting. Over the last six months, I explored various roles and pathways, including considering different apprenticeships and exploring customer service positions beyond hospitality. My mentor Matt has played a crucial role in navigating the challenging job market and helping me figure out the direction I want to take in my career.

Where are you now?

I have accepted the position of Multi-Channel Marketer Apprentice and I’m due to start with Coventry Council on Monday. Despite working in different roles throughout this journey my passion has always been Marketing and now It truly feels like a full circle moment. I’m going to be supporting with the annual care leaver awards and I’m absolutely buzzing!

What would you say to a young person reading this who is struggling?  

For any young person currently facing the challenges of unemployment, please know that you are not alone in this journey, my advice is not give up. Employers might leave you hanging, offer no feedback, or subject you to disappointment but what they can't take away is your drive and determination to succeed. When you attend an interview, even if it means spending your last £4 on bus fare, you should be proud. When you show up having had little sleep or managed to put together a smart outfit, give yourself credit for your efforts.

There is a wealth of support available if you take that courageous first step in asking for help! RISE UP exists to assist any young individual struggling to find work, and you can rest assured that you will be supported and taken care of if you choose to reach out. I had my doubts, but I am genuinely glad that I took the step and reached out when I truly needed it.

The wider RISE UP team and I are incredibly proud of Bailey and we are excited to see where this next chapter takes him. He has kindly agreed to create a more detailed blog/video in the coming months.

I’m sure you will all join us in wishing him the best of luck!


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