From Care to Career: Walid’s story

Check, check, check.

Some stories of young people working with us read like a list of high level goals, giving you the satisfying, warm and tingling feeling of checking off the boxes as you go along. Walid’s is such a story, taking you on a journey from seemingly insurmountable challenges to eventual success.

The beginnings

When Walid first came to Drive Forward his circumstances painted a rather grim picture. He was unemployed, had an unspent criminal conviction and was still with probation services. He was also in the middle of court proceedings about his immigration status and was battling with an unsettling ‘on and off toxic relationship’. On top of that, the then 24-year-old wasn’t able to claim any benefits, which meant that finding a job that paid the bills was at the very top of his priorities.

But Walid was ambitious and eager to progress. He didn’t deny the mistakes he had made in the past and was very aware of how much he still needed to learn in order to move forward. So, he started from scratch and became a regular at our Forum Theatre sessions learning all about how to act in a workplace environment. He attended other skills-building sessions and industry insight days, which sparked his interest in construction.

A new route

A few months down the line Walid successfully applied for a role with our partners at Premier Inn, in which he was able to gain valuable experience and progress for the better part of a year. He then decided that it was time for him to gain some new experiences and together with his Employment Consultant applied for a job at McDonalds. Walid knew that this was just a stepping stone and that with the right attitude, networks and support, he would be able to go further.

Staying in touch with his Employment Consultant paid off and when Walid learnt about an opportunity in construction he could access via Drive Forward, he jumped straight at it. He was so determined to succeed that he used his holidays to complete a 2-weeks course, which resulted in two job offers!

Walid quit his job at McDonalds and started a role with a subcontractor of an international infrastructure group.

A bright future

It’s been two years since we first met with Walid. Today, he is back from Covid-furlough, enjoying his work, his colleagues , earning good money and has good prospects for career progression.

He has further been successful in getting his immigration status sorted, with a little help of a reference and letter from Drive Forward and his employer. He has been awarded his own council flat, which he says is in really good condition, and  is no longer in his “toxic relationship”. Today, Walid feels positive about his future.

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