Today (3rd June), Llamau are encouraging people to talk about the important part employment has played in their lives, by focussing on their first ever job.
My first job was a springboard into the world of work, and whilst I may not have stayed in that industry, I still value the skills and life lessons I learnt there. Read on to find out about my first job, and why this campaign is taking place.
My first job was in the Savoy chip shop and café in Llanelli town centre. I was about 14 or 15 years old and what I remember the most was making the rissoles and all my friends coming in to see me working while they were all out and about!
I enjoyed working with people of all ages and trying not to make too many mistakes. Working is not only important to earn money but it is a real life experience that you don’t get from just being in school. Building relationships with people and being part of a team is key. These skills I have always thought gave me and give young people the foundations to build on for the future.
From this job and other part time jobs in hospitality, I have learnt to be able take myself out of my comfort zone and become a good communicator and a 'people person'.
Llamau is Wales' leading homelessness charity. 30 years ago Llamau was founded to provide homeless teenagers with a safe place to stay. Since then, they have supported over 67,000 young people, women and their children who are either homeless or facing homelessness.
The young people Llamau support are creative and tenacious, with interesting stories to share and ambition like the rest of us. But, through no fault of their own, they're also the hardest to reach and the furthest away from education and the labour market. The barriers these young people face stem from a multitude of issues, such as homelessness, neglect and abuse, all resulting in complex needs and potentially a very difficult and different life to the one they deserve.
The pandemic has only added to the barriers these young people face. Industries such as retail and hospitality, where young people would usually begin their careers, have been devastated by consistent lockdowns and business closures.