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Finding the right route for Hakim

18 May 2015

Before Prospects

Hakim* passion is music. His videos are regularly viewed on YouTube and when he left school with no qualifications he was keen to pursue a career in music. A polite and well mannered young man with anger management and timekeeping issues.

Hakim was taken out of mainstream education due to behavioural & anger management issues, instead attending a specialist Pupil Referral Unit. Here he was offered a smaller classroom environment with specialist support.

Having disengaged with education Hakim was keen to enter working life and get a job. Initially he considered music, catering and business administration roles, however, he was not able to secure employment due to his lack of qualifications and experience.

What Prospects did

Hakim was referred to the Youth Contract from Birmingham Connexions Service in July 2013 to receive ongoing support from a mentor to help him progress his application to study music and to keep him on track and engaged.

Hakim was very keen to pursue his musical interests. Heena, his mentor, found a placement at Access to Music, helped him to complete the application form and by September 2013 he had enrolled and started on an Access to Music course. Heena kept in touch by text and phone but later that month he complained to her that he ‘hated the course’. Although she convinced him to remain until she found something else for him, Hakim dropped out in October.

After he dropped out of his music course Hakim went through many months of indecision and change. With few musical options open Heena worked with Hakim to see if there were other pathways and career routes he would be interested in pursuing. Hakim was no longer interested in music and was now considering catering as an option. He did not have a passion for this, but thought it would be easy to become a waiter and serve food – not taking into consideration any of the other duties that are part pf this role. Heena asked Hakim to meet her at her office so they could sit and look at some job descriptions and person specifications for a waiter position, Hakim took one look at what was expected of him and changed his mind. Heena referred him to an independent careers adviser for advice and guidance as he refused further help from the Connexions service. Heena continued to encourage him to try things out before ruling them out but up to January 2014 he was still refusing to consider options suggested.

Following diagnosis of ill health in the family, Hakim decided to travel to Saudi Arabia to pursue a new interest in religion, where he completed the first stage of pilgrimage by completing Umrah – at this stage he told Heena he no longer wanted her support.

By June 2014 he was back. He contacted Heena, who had told him that she could be contacted at any time, to say that he had returned and was bored and wanted her help in finding a job.

Heena picked up where she had left off and started by referring him to another supportive training provider. Hakim left after a couple of days.

Following many face to face meetings Hakim agreed to attend a careers fair in Solihull where he met Don, the careers adviser at Platinum People. Whilst he was interested in their different courses, Hakim was adamant he did not want to return to education.

In September after the death of a family member Hakim decided he was ready to move forward with his career and asked his mentor to find him something in sport. He was referred to Platinum People.

Hakim was offered a place studying Level 2 in Sports and Functional Skills (maths, English and ICT). Hakim has struggled with the physical side of the course, and unsure what to do contacted Heena.

Heena arranged a face to face meeting with Hakim and Don at Platinum People. Concerned that Hakim would walk away from the course, she has continued to support him for almost two years. Don and Heena presented Hakim with a number of options, including remaining in the sport industry but working within business administration or customer service. Both of these options will be available to Hakim as apprenticeships once he completes his current Level 2 course.

When Hakim was first referred to Prospects he had no qualifications, no plans and no realistic aspirations. Heena worked with him helping him to think seriously about his future. Hakim did not want to pursue an academic course, believing that he was not capable, but was willing to consider taking courses that would help give him practical and functional skills.

Throughout the two year relationship, Heena met Hakim regularly, building up a trusting relationship and offering practical solutions to the issues he presented. Hakim is now 18 and feels that his life is back on track.

Outcomes and results

Hakim has required patient and persistent mentoring during his time with the Youth Contract. He lacks direction and has been keen to get into work rather than education. However, he has now completed the majority of his Level 2 Sport course and is on target to complete this by the end of June.

Due to Heena’s intervention Hakim will now complete a work placement through Platinum People in business administration or customer service.

Once this is complete he will be given the opportunity to start a full-time apprenticeship, this will provide him with his desired job outcome and improve his earning potential throughout his career.


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