"Humans of BOOST"
My mum told me about BOOST, 3 years ago because I was unemployed. I had just left Sainsbury’s, so I was looking for a new job. She recommended that I go to an organization called BOOST, as they help people find jobs. So I thought, ok, I’ve got nothing to lose. Then I met Gurinder and she was incredibly helpful. She helped me to complete a lot of applications. Gurinder was always making sure I was doing them, in case I was slacking, but I wasn’t, and if I needed help I could always rely on her to help clarify something. After I finished one, we would go through it. She really helped me with structuring the answers, so it wasn’t too little and it wasn’t too much. I really wanted to work in a London football stadium, so even if I didn’t get a response at first, I kept checking and applying, changing things each time, maybe a paragraph, maybe something else, and thankfully one day, Chelsea came back to me and said: we would like you to come for an interview for a part-time position. And I got it.
Recently, I have been looking for a more stable and full time job. So whilst I worked at Stamford Bridge, I also began an application with the Metropolitan Police. They sent me back a questionnaire with multiple choice questions, it took about 15 minutes and then they invited me for a 1 day assessment. I passed the assessment last December and am now waiting for the next stage. I still work for Chelsea but I am looking forward to begin training with the Metropolitan Police. It’s not going to be easy, but it is something that I really, really want to do, for moral reasons.
I was in my last year at school, year eleven. I didn’t apply for any A levels at that time, so I had no idea what I wanted to do. My parents suggested: ‘Apply for Barnet Council apprenticeship, it will be good.’ So, I went for the interview thinking: “I will never get it”. Then I got it. At the first interview out of 6 options, they asked me what I want to do, and I said, “I want to do Welfare”, so they assigned me to the Welfare Reform Task Force and BOOST team. I was there for exactly a year. I loved it. It was an amazing experience for me to meet new people, learning how to talk to people professionally. It was a life experience, especially for a 17-year-old, who is giving people debit advice. It was me stepping into a deep water. I learned about taxes, how to apply for a mortgage, how to sort your rent. While I was working with BOOST it made me understand what I wanted to do. I decided to finish my A levels, get a degree, so I can carry on my dream. It was a turning point in my life. I started as an insecure, quiet person; I had no idea how to talk to people face to face. In a couple of months, I changed just like that and I started to talk to everybody, giving people crucial advice and changing people’s lives. I would recommend for someone who doesn’t know what to do before A levels or after, do an apprenticeship, do it for a year, get a feel for how to move on, what to do and how to expand.
This time last year, I was working for McDonalds, it was quite a tough time for me as I had been an university graduate for about a year and I hadn’t any luck applying for graduate jobs. Then I heard about BOOST which, helps young people between the ages of 16-24 for employment and it seemed like a great opportunity for me to get some help, I thought let’s see what happens. I didn’t think anything would come of it. When I went there, they were all really friendly and nice, especially Gurinder who took me under her wing and helped me out all the time when she could. When I had appointments and we went through a whole bunch of stuff for example my CV, applying for jobs and general things. Then BOOST called me about an opportunity working for Barnet Council. I really wanted an office job, I wanted to get out of retail at the time. This was a great opportunity for me and I said yes. Me and Gurinder did 2 sessions before the interview going through interview preparation, questions likely to be asked – at the end I was feeling confident. By the time I had my interview, it went really well and I got the job. Even after that BOOST and especially Gurinder keep in contact to ask how it’s going, if I need anything, any advice, they’ve really been there. I really appreciate it and I wouldn’t be in my current position without them so I am very grateful and thankful. I recommend anyone who was in a similar situation to me to give BOOST a go, because they can do great things and help people.
I joined an apprenticeship programme in September 2014. I was 30 years old and was working with the Neighbourhood team. It was a really good experience for me for many reasons: I was effected by benefit cap and the apprenticeship helped me to be exempt from the cap, I have gained new skills and it helped me to build my confidence. After one year of being an apprentice I got a job in The Barnet Group as a Housing Support officer and then I moved to Welfare Reform Taskforce. I have been working in the same company for 5 years and have moved up to welfare benefit advisor for BOOST and the welfare reform taskforce. I would definitely recommend apprenticeship programme to anyone it’s a great way to meet great people and learn new things at any age, with very caring and supportive people
Before I found BOOST I was struggling to find a job. I didn’t know how to get started. I had confidence but not in a professional way. I didn’t know how to act. BOOST gave me the understanding of what employers want and what they are looking for. On our first meeting I was a bit sceptical because I didn’t know how they could help me, but they empowered me, especially Gurinder. I honestly couldn’t have done it witouth her, she didn’t give up on me. She put her faith in me and it paid off. Now, thanks to BOOST I have a job and I am absolutely loving it. Even to this day they still ask me if there is anything they can do to help me to progress. BOOST has helped me in many ways for example, getting me qualifications by sending me on traineeships and apprenticeships.