Global Young Achiever 2023, Faith
Building a career despite years of closed doors and financial hardship, Faith won the prestigious Prince’s Trust Global Young Achiever Award in May 2023.
With no qualifications beyond her school certificate, Faith (21) was struggling to earn enough to cover her family’s basic needs. But after taking part in our Get Into programme in Nigeria, she immediately landed a job that transformed her prospects – and trebled her income.
Faith received her Global Young Achiever Award from Prince’s Trust Global Ambassador, Edward Enninful OBE, at a star-studded ceremony in London.
Faith grew up in Lagos, in a family of ten. Like many young people from poor backgrounds, she left school young – at 15. Although Faith was a keen student, her parents didn’t have the funds for her to study further, so she went straight out to work to help support the family.
‘I come from a very humble background and we have issues with finances, everyone just has to buckle up and try to do things on their own. Everyone is a go getter,’ she explains.
Faith moved from post to post to try to maximise her income. But although she enjoyed her jobs, they were poorly paid, bringing in less than £50 each month.
‘Before, when my income came, immediately I shared it to meet many needs in the family and it was gone,’ she recalls. ‘I really wanted to contribute more.’
Capped and trapped
Faith explains that her earning potential was capped by her lack of qualifications. In Nigeria, many jobs are simply off limits for school leavers like Faith – so they remain trapped in low-paid roles, no matter how hard they work.
‘If I had a higher certificate I would have found a better job. Having only the secondary school certificate limits the salary you can earn and the work you get,’ she explains. ‘It’s not that you don’t have the potential, it’s just the educational back-up you’re missing. It’s very hard.’
Then, in early 2022, Faith quit her job and signed up to the Get Into programme – a decision she describes as ‘life-changing’.
A pathway for potential
Designed by Prince’s Trust International, and delivered in Nigeria by youth training academy Field of Skills and Dreams VTE Academy (FSD), Get Into is an employer-led training programme that focuses on young people’s potential, not their qualifications.
The content of the Get Into course varies depending on the sector – a mixture of general employability skills and technical, sector-specific knowhow, followed by a work experience placement. Each stage of the programme paves the way for the next, crafting a pathway for young people to gradually build the skills, experience, and confidence to move straight into jobs.
Conscious that many participants come from poor backgrounds, so cannot take time out to study without earning, we provided a basic stipend for all participants, so that they could afford to attend.
Faith and confidence
Faith joined a programme focused on eco-friendly baking and catering. ‘It was so interactive, and learning was fun,’ she recalls. ‘It really helped to open my mind.’ She identifies teamwork and time management as particularly useful skills and highlights the value of her busy work experience placement, which rapidly built her understanding of co-ordinating catering for large events.
‘At first I was lost because I didn’t know what to do,’ she remembers, ‘but as time went on I saw the things I’m meant to do and learned on the job, and also it built my confidence.’
By the end of her work experience placement, Faith was confidently liaising with clients, suppliers, servers, and kitchen staff to make sure that events went smoothly. Her bosses recognised her capabilities and, as soon as she completed the programme, they immediately offered her a permanent job as an events co-ordinator.
The salary, almost three times higher than her previous role, is making a big difference to Faith and her family, and is enabling her to save up for further study. Now, her future looks bright. Faith’s employers are impressed by her leadership potential, and she is looking forward to starting management training at work.
‘The programme was a prayer answered,’ she says, simply.
We launched the Get Into programme in Nigeria in early 2022. Within three months, 96% of participants, like Faith, were in work or training.