“I got the ideal helping hand to kick-start my career and shake off anxieties”

Rhys Lewis

Rhys Lewis, 22, left school at 18 and went on to study Sport and IT at college but when he left education in June 2016 he was completely lost and had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.

He lacked confidence and suffered with terrible anxiety issues so when faced with the prospect of choosing a career pathway he was totally overwhelmed.

Feeling lost

Rhys said: “When I left college I had no idea what I wanted to do or even how to go about getting on the career ladder. I was totally clueless and the idea of attending an interview filled me with dread.

“I felt completely lost but knew I needed to find a way to kick-start my career and start earning some money.

“I went to my local Job Centre to seek help, advice and support and they suggested that I tried the Employability Skills Programme. I hadn’t heard about it before but I found it incredibly beneficial and an extremely valuable use of my time.

Finding a way

“They helped me to produce a comprehensive CV, complete application forms and gave me advice and information on how to prepare for a job interview.

“I was told I’d also get practical, hands-on work experience and the prospect of a job at the end of it. It sounded like a no brainer and a win, win opportunity for me so I jumped at the chance to give it a go.

“I can’t believe how much the programme has changed me. The support I received was fantastic and it really reassured and helped me to build my confidence in preparation for my placement with Co-op

Kick-starting a career

“I was still pretty nervous on my first day but I feel like my confidence has really grown during my placement and continues to strengthen with the more experience I get.

“I have learned so much about the world of retail. I’ve not only developed a whole host of basic, transferable, vocational skills I’ve also learned the specific skills needed for working in retail such as customer service, pricing, merchandising and marketing. I feel really excited about what the future might hold.

“The programme has been the ideal helping hand I needed to kick-start my career and shake off the anxieties I had around entering a working environment.

“I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and would recommend the programme to anyone who needs a bit of help, reassurance and advice finding the right career for them.”


Unemployed and looking for work?

The Employability Skills Programme is designed around you and offers high quality work placements and specific training to help you build the confidence, skills and experience you need to get a job.

 Find out more about the Employability Skills Programme


Live in the South Wales Valleys?

If you live in the South Wales Valleys and need to improve your chance of finding a job the Access Programme could be right for you. You could be eligible for a vocational training grant and tailored support.

 Find out more about Access


Need help to find out what support is available?

Want to gain more skills? Looking for help to find work? Employment Routes is a directory of programmes across Wales that could help you increase your skills and find a job.

 Find out what support you might be eligible for in Wales


Bag yourself a career in Retail!

If you’re looking for a career that allows you the chance to meet new people everyday, to work in a thriving and busy environment and have opportunities to progress up the career ladder then Retail is for you.

 Find out more about a career in retail

Let’s talk

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Rhys's story

Funding and Support Guide 2018-2019

Funding and Support Guide 2018-2019

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