Anthony came to the Work Programme as an early access participant after being released from prison in August 2012. He had been imprisoned for three years for aggravated burglary and Section 20 – Using Firearms. Anthony was imprisoned aged 19, and released at 23.
Anthony had not received formal education. As a result of peer pressure, he became part of a group that would have a negative influence on his life. During his time in prison, Anthony completed and passed his Maths Level 1 and English Level 2 as well as passing his Business Studies BTEC Level 2.
When Anthony first attended the centre, he thought it would be a waste of his time. He had doubts as to who would employ him due to his criminal record. Anthony received one-to-one support from his personal adviser, who worked alongside him to build his confidence about finding employment and, more importantly, discussed the willingness to forget about the past and look forward to the future.
Anthony lived very close to the centre and would sometimes attend up to three times a week for job-search sessions. He was put forward for and was successful in obtaining a pre-apprenticeship role in construction. He moved from the Benefits System to a Training Allowance and was supported by the centre in his commute to work. Anthony was also offered direct mentoring from staff at the centre and they were asked to liaise with the employment engagement co-ordinator or job life coach when needed. Anthony attended training every day.
Now working full-time for another company, Anthony has truly turned his life around and has a very positive attitude about the future. All he wanted was for someone to believe in him and to give him an opportunity to prove himself. He still attends the centre on his days off from work and has become an unofficial part of the team. Anthony is a role-model to other participants, has spoken about his experiences and wants to influence others positively and offer them hope. He believes people cannot change their past but the future is in their hands – they are in control and can make positive choices.
Anthony previously lived with his grandmother, but has since moved back home to live with his father. He ensures he visits his grandmother every day and assists her in daily duties. He will stop at nothing to help her by doing her shopping, caring for her and even just providing company.
As a result of all his hard work, commitment and sheer determination, Anthony is a success story.
Support with the basics
Guidance and support with benefit queries and support to identify the barriers to work