A 21-YEAR-OLD who left school without any career direction and with few qualifications has secured himself a job –  with the enterprise organisation that originally put him on the right path.

Peterlee man George Manser dipped in and out of several college courses after leaving school until he found himself out of education, unemployed, and “lost”.

In a bid to change his circumstances he enrolled on a 12-week employability course, run by East Durham Business Service (EDBS).

The course taught George how to search for jobs, write CVs and covering letters, best practice for interviews, team-building exercises, and built up his confidence which had gone by the wayside.

Shortly after the EDBS course had finished in August 2014, George began to volunteer for the organisation, helping others on the same employability course he started out on.

His efforts did not go unnoticed, and in the September of the same year he was delighted to be offered a job with EDBS, as a business administration apprentice for 12 months.

George impressed his bosses so much, that he was offered a full-time job in September last year as administrator for EDBS and assistant programme tutor on the employability courses.

George, a former pupil at St Bede’s RC Comprehensive School, said: “When I left school I was all over the place and I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

“I enrolled on all different kinds of courses including plumbing, product manufacturing, sports science, and plant maintenance.

“When the company I was supposed to be doing the plant maintenance apprenticeship with didn’t get back to me, I felt quite lost to be honest and I didn’t know what to do.

“So I started the employability course with EDBS. I wanted to do something to get me up and out on a morning, and I’m so glad I did – it ended up being the right path for me.

“At the time, I didn’t really know how to search for a job because when I was in school we didn’t learn anything like that. So the employability course taught me how to do that, and set me up with job interviews, which was invaluable experience.

“Then after volunteering for EDBS I got offered the chance to start an apprenticeship and then got a full time job. I was over the moon. I finally feel like I know where I’m going, and it’s a great feeling to be helping people who are in the same position as I was.”

EDBS are currently running an employability course called Durham Works, in conjunction with Durham County Council, for people aged 16 to 24 who are not in education, training, or employment.

Denise Fielding said: “George is proof that our employability courses do work and should spur on other young people to give them a chance.

“They can take someone who is feeling lost with no direction in their life, and help them to find some direction, and employment, or training.

“George has done really well and continues to impress us with his work ethic.”

George’s future also looks bright – he has enrolled on an evening course at East Durham College from September to study humanitarian and social science.

From there he hopes to undertake a university degree in either sociology or criminology.

He added: “If you’re serious about wanting to find work, I’d definitely recommend the Durham Works employability course being run by EDBS. It changed things for me.”

For more information about the DurhamWorks programme, and the support and facilities available through EDBS, visit www.edbs.co.uk or call (0191) 5863366.