Doing Digital with the Prince’s Trust


By Matt Pilling, Head of Operations at The Prince’s Trust Manchester
Monday 14th March 2022

At The Prince’s Trust, we believe every young person should have the chance to gain the skills and confidence to make something of their lives.

Over the past two years, the Future Workforce Fund, delivered in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), has helped us transform the lives of young people on a scale larger than ever before.

Our courses are designed to help them develop the essential skills and confidence they need to progress into education, employment or training. And, while we support a whole range of sectors from retail to healthcare, helping young people into the digital sector is a key focus for this ground-breaking project.

Digital Skills and Employability

The Prince’s Trust supports young people from the ages of 16-30 to develop essential skills to secure employment or explore becoming their own boss by setting up a business. When it comes to helping establish a digital workforce, we’re currently running a range of specialist employability courses with experts such as Apple, Google, and Accenture that enable young people to access digital job opportunities:

  • Our Level Up course offers young people insight into the different industries that use technology and digital skills, helping them build new skills and unlock hidden potential.

  • Our Get Started programmes introduce young people to an industry, helping them make well-informed decisions about whether it offers the right career options for them. Usually lasting a week, courses have so far covered opportunities in digital marketing, technology, and artificial intelligence.

  • Our Get into programmes offer hands-on industry experience with specific employers, with many courses providing interview opportunities.

After developing their confidence and gaining the right skills and experience, young people can start their digital career journey with Get Hired; a one-day event featuring speed interviews with top employers who are recruiting for entry-level roles across the digital industry.

You can find out more about our programmes by coming along to Digital City Festival which is taking place across the city from 7th-11th March. A range of workshops and seminars will take place throughout the week, bringing together key thought-leaders to address the key challenges that face the digital space as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. On Tuesday 8th March at Beehive Mill in Manchester we were joined by a panel of expert speakers from organisations including Manchester Digital, Tech Nation, Microsoft and Capgemini where we discussed the challenges of creating a digital workforce.

A Prince’s Trust case study: From retail to tech

Our work is continuing to make a huge difference at a time when support for young people has never been more essential. Charlotte, 28, from Manchester, made a huge career change over the pandemic. Take a read of her story below.

“Before lockdown, I’d been working at McDonald’s for ten years. I enjoyed working there but knew it wasn’t a forever job, and the pandemic made me think it was the year to look for something different, especially as I had so much free time when I was furloughed.

“I’ve always been interested in tech products and liked the idea of being part of an exciting new industry. I started looking for adult training courses at the start of 2020, and the pandemic meant there were more courses available.

“I applied for The Prince’s Trust and Generation Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re/start Course because I didn’t know what skills were required for a tech job. The course covered such a wide range of skills and covered lots like multiple programming languages – often courses just cover one. I got a laptop from The Prince’s Trust to learn from too.

“Other people on the course had no tech industry experience either so we all learnt together. At the end we sat an exam, and I gained an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner qualification.

“We also did a lot of employability sessions on the course about confidence, practice interviews and how to set up a LinkedIn account. Those were just as valuable as the tech skills. I felt confident in myself and that was the most important part. I changed my mindset, alongside learning lots of technical skills.

“After setting up my LinkedIn, I posted about my new qualification, I received a message that a cloud tech company Matillion was hiring. At first, I was nervous because I didn’t know everything required for the job, but they understood my skill levels from the course and I am now working as an associate solutions engineer.

“At one point I didn’t think I’d find a job so quickly after the course, but I realised the high demand in jobs in the tech industry. I am pleased to now have started my future career in tech and hope to continue to learn and gain more certifications in the future.”

If you know a young person who would benefit from our support or you’d like to learn how your business can get involved, visit manchester.princes-trust.org.uk for more information.

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