Ahead of our next Prince's Trust Team programme, Lee Teideman, Adviza's Programme Manager, talks about how the course has inspired and motivated young people and how we have adapted the programme so that it can continue through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sally* joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme after the law firm where she worked as a secretary closed down. She had been a competent employee who loved her work. But redundancy was so distressing for Sally that she lost her confidence and sense of direction.

She spent six months in the wilderness before finding herself on a Prince’s Trust Team programme. It reignited her confidence and drive and helped her get back on her feet. At the end of the 12-week programme she was ready to begin again, and start looking for work.

Sally was so energised by her experience that she became a Prince’s Trust ambassador. I watched her comfortably sharing her story with hundreds of people at a Prince’s Trust event, something she wouldn’t have dreamed of doing a few months before.

In some ways, Sally is far from a typical Team participant: many young people who join Team will do so having never worked before, or with no sense of what they want to do. But I’ve chosen to tell Sally’s story to show that life throws many curveballs.

It doesn’t take much for any one of us to lose our confidence, momentum and sense of professional identity, and that is a bigger danger than ever today.

That’s why I believe the Team programme is more relevant now than it has ever been. All sorts of young people can benefit hugely from Team—some just like Sally, others who will not have worked at all.

About the Prince’s Trust Team programme

Team is a 12-week personal development programme for people aged 16-24 who are not in education, employment or training. It helps participants acquire new skills, gain a qualification and meet new people. Along the way they also gain confidence, motivation and inspiration. As a springboard to new and better opportunities, Team can change lives.

Our next round of Prince’s Trust Team programmes will launch on January 25th. It’s our 14th year of delivering Team, and so far, we’ve supported around 800 young people through almost 80 programmes, benefiting many thousands more through the community projects our participants deliver over the course of those 12 weeks.

COVID-19 measures mean we have adapted our first Team programme of 2021, but eligible young people will still benefit from virtual community project work, challenges and adapted forms of most of our standard activity. We aim to deliver our usual three rounds of programmes this year, with formats reflecting conditions at the time.

There is still plenty of opportunity for young people to join the Team programme, and likewise for local employers to get involved.

Why should young people get involved in Team?

The young people who join Team can be vulnerable and disengaged. They may have fallen out of college and school with no qualifications, no ambition and no sense of routine. Or they could be like Sally, having lost both their job and their confidence. But the things they will learn and do over 12 weeks can grow their motivation and confidence and instil a positive routine.

Having personally overseen many Team programmes, I believe the hardest part for young people is simply making the decision to join. If they show up, there’s a great chance they will end up better off.

Team is a brilliant eye-opener. It allows young people to gain experiences in work they wouldn’t have considered, and can introduce them to a world they didn’t even know existed. As such, it can provide a truncated version of the trial and error we all experience with our career choices over a long timeframe.

It can create a spark, a desire for better things, a sense of confidence that they can work with others. It can create a sense of pride and social responsibility in the work they do for community projects, and it can lead directly to opportunities.

The value of our work placements

Work placements and experiences of any kind – many of which can still be delivered remotely – are a hugely important part of the Team programme, and for that we need employers who want to help young people and the community. In the past, many of our young people have formed connections through their work experience that led directly to employment or further training.

How employers can get involved

There are many ways employers in our key regions can get involved with Team, the most obvious being to provide work experience or simply speak to our young people about the careers they offer.

Junior or mid-ranking professionals in any career can give a great insight into what it’s like to do a job, and can Zoom with our young people to present, chat and answer questions. Leaders, managers and HR departments can organise work experience (the nature of which may change over time depending on pandemic restrictions).

With the Team programme running three times in a year, there are plenty of opportunities to be involved. So far, local employers have kindly offered work experience in sectors as broad as hair and beauty, engineering and manufacturing, retail, office and professional services. I’m sure many of our young people would be fascinated to learn more about the emergency services, too.

Join Team

Our specially adapted Team programme for Reading and Berkshire is held in partnership with London Irish rugby club, and launches on January 25th.

Anyone keen to participate in Team—from young people who want to join the programme, to parents or employers—can get in touch with me to learn more. You can contact me at [email protected].

Here’s hoping we can bring more young people closer to enriching careers in 2021.

Prince's Trust Team Programme

*Name has been changed.