I left school at 16 without maths and English qualifications and it’s been really difficult for me and my friends to find opportunities in Wythenshawe. When I left school I found temporary work through Connexions, but it only lasted three weeks. I decided to join the army, but had to leave on medical discharge. I was crushed, and back to looking for a job again.
Then I found the Manchester Airport Young Person’s Skills academy. I’ve been here for three months now and I want to find an engineering apprenticeship at the airport. I like engineering because it’s active and hands on, fixing stuff. I don’t want to work in an office.
I’ve already done two weeks of work experience through the academy. I worked with the electrical engineers at the airport, who look after the big equipment like the x-ray machines, and the mechanical engineers who fix the air bridges and luggage belts.
Work experience gets you into the rhythm of work, getting up early, getting in on time, and it helped me understand the job because I got to ask questions as well as do practical things like servicing and cleaning the machines. I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. I even got an employer reference which will help with my apprenticeship applications.
At the academy we’ve also done volunteering days at Wythenshawe Community farm and with a homeless charity. Meeting new people has really boosted my confidence and communication skills. I didn’t get those opportunities at school. In fact, for some of us, these opportunities present the first chance to leave the local Wythenshawe area.
My vision for the future is to gain the right skills and experience, and eventually get a job. Having the chance to participate at the Academy’s work experience programme is definitely going to help me get the job I want!
The Manchester Airport Group matched over £1.3m of public money from our Employer Ownership fund, to establish a Young Person’s Skills academy. The academy works with the employers in Manchester Airport to offer maths and English support, employability skills and work experience. You can read more about this project on our website.