Waseem learned about Street League in Leeds from his local job centre in the city centre. At first he was sceptical about joining the Academy programme because he had been on other courses, but none of them lived up to their initial promises. Waseem’s family were constantly asking him when he was going to get a job. He had been out of work for two years, so he figured he had nothing to lose.

Waseem’s initial aims were to improve his confidence, communication skills, maths, English and get a job in retail. He was a quieter member of the group at the start, with English being his second language. As the Academy progressed, Waseem’s time keeping improved, he grew in confidence and took the opportunity to contribute to group discussions.

Towards the end of the ten weeks, Waseem was heavily involved in the planning and delivery of a football tennis tournament. He delivered the main introduction to the event and his tutor Jayne noted that he was “very well spoken and confident.”

When Waseem heard about a placement opportunity, from Street League staff, at a branch of Jewson, the builders’ merchant, he was keen to apply. He performed well at the interview, with Warren the Branch Manager, describing him as “professional and enthusiastic.” During his work placement, he had to start work at 7am, something very new to him. Although he found the working week tiring, he persevered, impressing colleagues and management. Shortly after Waseem’s placement concluded, Jewson offered him the chance to join them as an employee and he started a Customer Service Apprenticeship.

Waseem couldn’t wait to share his good news with his family when he found out and afterwards said that they were “proud and happy for him.”

Waseem on the Academy programme: “Street League staff explained things in detail, so that I could understand. I would recommend it to anyone, so grab the opportunity!”