Jake Brown: From customer to Kennedy Scott employee

I joined the Kennedy Scott Work Programme a few months after leaving College where I had studied and achieved a National Diploma in Media. On completion of my Diploma I had no direction, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do, which led me to apply for any job role going.

I have always struggled with anxiety and low confidence which didn’t help my situation. This stems from bullying and awful experiences during my school years.

At my worse I was unable to get buses, be in crowds or speak to strangers in public. When placed in these situations it would cause me to shake where I would become so distressed. There were points where I didn’t feel able to leave the house alone.

I was then referred to the Work Programme. Initially this frightened me as I found it bad enough braving the crowds at the Job Centre.

It was explained to me very clearly what was to happen and that I needed to attend an induction, of which I was dubious as it involved being in a room and speaking with strangers. However, on arrival I was made to feel welcome by the Kennedy Scott team and the group induction went quite smoothly.

After being with Kennedy Scott for a little while, my advisor, at the time informed me that there was a job opportunity at the Maidstone centre as an Administration Apprentice. He helped me by booking me in for confidence boosting courses and after lots of coaching I went into the interview and succeeded in getting the apprenticeship role.

I began as the Administration Apprentice in June 2012 and remained there until March 2014. My contract was originally due to end in June 2013. However a 6 month extension and then a further 3 month extension resulted in me staying much longer- all the while passing milestones and overcoming personal issues I had.

Speaking to and being in a room with crowds and strangers started to become normal. I eventually found myself becoming more independent and confident. With the support of my colleagues I quickly grew as a person and eventually became the very person my anxiety had prevented me from being.

After achieving my NVQ2 and completing my time with the Kennedy Scott Maidstone office as their Administrator, I was interviewed for a permanent role at Kennedy Scott in March 2014 as a Contract Support Assistant. Thanks to my new found confidence I once again succeeded and was offered the job there and then. I started the role two days later.

If it hadn’t been for Kennedy Scott and their amazing staff and their support I know I would not be the person I am today, and would still shy away and accept that anxiety would rule my life. This is no longer the case and I’m glad I can say that I am happy, confident and unafraid. Apprenticeships are the way to go, to build yourself up and learn on the job. It worked wonders for me.

Kennedy Scott is extremely proud of Jake’s outstanding achievement. CEO Teresa Scott awarded Jake with our Customer Success Award on September 24, during Kennedy Scott’s 25th anniversary celebrations in Maidstone.