‘The experience has been amazing’, says Deen, having recently started his apprenticeship at Man Group. Drawing on the encouragement and support of his coach at City Gateway, he has gained self-belief, confidence and a determination to succeed.

It was Deen’s experience of City Gateway’s Coaching Programme, which had a real impact on his ambition and his self-esteem.

‘I met a really good guy – my coach- he is actually the reason I am here today- he built up my confidence, he built up my skillset, my mind frame and he told me I was worth it and I could do it. Back then I wouldn’t have believed it but now I believe everything he says, he’s the reason why I’m here now.’

Having been accepted on to an Apprenticeship at Man Group, Deen has come a long way – learning new skills and being able to apply them in a professional context.

‘I started off as a not very confident person, I was into really low paid jobs, low skilled jobs. I didn’t have confidence in myself, I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere in life and then I came to City Gateway.’

‘What I’ve learnt so far now is, professional manner, my mind frame has been thinking more how to say… more normal. I’ve been learning a lot of software, hardware and thriving with all the knowledge in my head, which is good.’

Once he has completed his Apprenticeship he is hoping to secure a fulltime position… and if the opportunity arises, to train another young person like himself, from City Gateway.

‘I’ve been told by my line manager that I’m doing really well, progressing really fast. So my next step is to secure a permanent position. Once I do that I’m going to stick with my IT role and keep pursuing my career and I actually asked them, if I do – can I train someone from City Gateway like myself. So I hope I can do that.’

*Photography represents City Gateway, but does not depict the individual featured in the story