Harits, TEAM Programme
Disheartened and down after months of unsuccessful job hunting, Harits (27) rediscovered himself on the TEAM programme, describing how it made him ‘feel alive again’. Within days of completing the programme, he’d secured a job as a community support officer. As well as enabling Harits to rediscover his confidence and self-esteem, the TEAM programme also provided him with practical job-seeking tips. He says that both these factors were key to his success in finding work.
After graduating from university, Harits (27) struggled to find work, applying for lots of jobs without success. By the time he joined the TEAM programme, he’d been out of work for over eight months. ‘I started to feel down, demotivated, hopeless and stuck,’ he recalls. ‘It was the worst time of my life.’
Then, just as Malaysia was emerging from its first coronavirus lockdown, Harits saw an advert for the TEAM programme on Instagram, and decided to give it a go. Within days of completing the nine-week programme, he’d secured a job as a community support officer.
In 2020, Selangor Youth Community (SAY) became the first organisation in Malaysia to deliver TEAM, an intensive, pre-employment training programme developed with Prince’s Trust International. Harits was among SAY’s very first intake, and all eight young people from that initial cohort went on to jobs or further education within weeks of completing their course.
“It’s really a life-changing journey, I learned a lot and it made me feel alive again, I found myself again.‘
Although Harits enjoyed the residential camp, which featured teambuilding activities such as paintball, his highlight was the community project – an opportunity for young people to practise their emerging skills, such as communication and teamwork, by planning and delivering a real-life project.
Harits and his team raised funds to support educational projects with children from an indigenous (Orang Asli) village. With their charity bake sale, public car wash and Harits’ charity run, the team raised over £200.
Harits explains that this was the toughest stage of the programme, with lots of logistical challenges to overcome, but that this only heightened his sense of achievement at the end. ‘It was tiring, with a lot of barriers and obstacles… but after it was all successfully done, I felt proud.’
Alongside enabling Harits to rediscover his confidence and self-esteem, the programme also provided him with practical job-seeking tips. He describes how both these factors were key to his success in finding work.
“There were modules like CV writing and preparing for interview, and these things helped me in the real situation… I wasn’t too nervous or scared because I’d already gone through it on the TEAM programme. A lot of the things I’d gone through had increased my confidence so when I applied for my job I just got on with it, and I was able to be myself and show my character.”
Harits started work in September 2020. His income means he can now support himself and his mother as she gets older. He’s also used his wages to buy himself a bike – something he’d been dreaming of doing since high school, but could never previously afford.