Ambition Coventry, a programme to help young people in Coventry get into employment and education has helped a new arrival into the city find work – and he’s lovin’ it!
Clifford Nghneya arrived in the UK from Kenya in January to join his parents, who had been here for eight years, and, despite English not being his first language, he was determined to find employment.
He was put in touch with Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) and joined its Involved Programme which helps newly arrived young people settle into their surroundings and offers support with health and wellbeing, social integration and learning English.
Clifford was also enrolled on the Ambition Coventry employability programme, which draws together skills and expertise from 20 organisations. It’s led by Coventry City Council’s employment team and creates pathways for young people to achieve their goals.
Through PYF’s links with local McDonald’s franchisee John Kiely, Clifford was given the chance to attend a careers open evening with John’s restaurant group.
After hearing about the skills he could learn and develop with the company, he was helped by PYF to apply for a job online, develop his CV and was given training on interview techniques.
The 18-year-old was successful in his application and is now working in the McDonald’s restaurant in Cross Cheaping in Coventry city centre and taking on a variety of roles as well as improving his teamwork and communication skills.
“My parents moved to Coventry eight years ago and I stayed with my guardians back in Kenya so it has been great to join my family here,” said Clifford.
“When I first came here, I was a little scared to talk to anyone at first,” he said. “But, over time, I have gained confidence in communicating how I feel in front of any group.
“The people I work with have been very friendly, much more patient and helpful than I expected.
“I have also learnt about staying focussed and not giving up – it has been great for me.”
John said he believed the partnership with PYF would lead to more young people finding work at his restaurants.
He said: “After meeting the Positive Youth Foundation team, a group of young people came to our open evening and I was really enthused at their willingness to engage, learn and to ask questions.
“I was thrilled that Clifford wanted to pursue a career with us and I am sure he will be the first of many that we will either employ or help get ready to go into other employment.
“I am delighted to be able to work with, and support, PYF Ambition.”
Krishan Singh, of PYF, said the approach had helped Clifford to find work and settle in the city.
He said: “Clifford initially attended our Tuesday evening football sessions which sees a good mix of both newly arrived and local young people in attendance.
“He’s the perfect example of what hard work and commitment can achieve. By accepting help and support, he overcame a series of challenges to meet his goals and he should be commended for that – especially for overcoming one of the hardest challenges, a language barrier.
“What it also highlights is our connections with both the public and private sector and how we can tap into those for the good of individuals in the city who need this kind of support. We wish Clifford all the very best.”
Ambition Coventry is a youth employment initiative funded through the European Social Fund. It works with anyone aged between 16 and 19 who lives in Coventry and is not in any form of employment, education or training (NEET).