Finding work for a young lad who's not really worked much

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 ThunderCat 02 Mar 2023

I've a situation with a nephew back in the north east.  He's a great lad, but incredibly shy, not very confident.  Had the misfortune of having a waste of space for a dad (my brother) and never really had any direction or support or encouragement from his parents..  Didn't do particularly well at school, had a couple of short term jobs etc.

I always make an effort to meet up with him when I go back home and all I've seen is a young lad who had a couple of cheeky pints with his uncle but in the past couple of years we've sort of bonded a bit more and talked a lot.  He's opened up a couple of days ago saying that he's feeling depressed at life (he's in his early 20's), he's looking for work but keeps getting knocked back, he's drinking a lot due to boredom (not sure where he's getting the cash but I want to have that conversation when we're face to face, and not appear as a judgemental a*se).  He called me late last night and it's been on my mind since (not a lot of sleep).  I'm telling him gently that booze is the worst possible thing to be doing right now but trying not to sound like a nag when I do it.

I really want to help him and I don't know where to start. How do you knock up a CV when there is very little work experience on there?  What do you put as qualification when (I don't think) there are any?  What help is available to young uns via the job centre these days?  Do they do stuff like CV building, interview techniques, job searches?

I've been lucky in terms of work in that I've always managed to stay in long term roles, with probably about four months total of being on the dole since I left school so I've not really got any experience of looking for a job, and I appreciate that I've been very fortunate to be in that situation

I know the stock answer is "he need's to get off his backside" - I know this.  I'm trying to book some time off work to go up there and have this conversation with him and tell him that he needs to be knocking on doors, walking through town, registering with agencies, scouring websites etc.  But I need as many ideas as possible to help me help him.

I'm going to mention volunteering, to try to pad out his CV and get some experience and confidence and stuff.  dealing with people, handling cash etc.  I'm happy to help find or fund courses that will help him get his foot on the ladder.  I had a random thought of seeing if he wants to get his SIA licence to help him get into security.  (And I know the next question is 'what does he want to do'...that's the thing, he will say 'anything').  One of the jobs he had that he liked was warehouse work.  He had training on forklifts, but apparently this was only 'for that company' and didn't lead to any sort of 'industry recognised' qualification

His outlook comes (I think) from a general family background where you have a lot of generation unemployment and a kind of ingrained belief that 'there's no jobs out there', and also from a family tradition of overly-coddling mothers...(I speak from experience) where the lads are allowed to sit on their backsides and the women will do literally everything for them, all their lives.  I had the same experience and when I forced myself to leave home I had literally no idea how to do anything (cook, clean, budget, look after myself, do washing, deal with agencies, etc) and I think that if I didn't leave when I did I'd be in much the same boat now

Any ideas are welcome.  I just really want to help and get him on his feet but it's tricky from so far away.  I'm concerned that he's now in a bit of an downward spiral.  I'll take a breath now and go do some work,

 Dax H 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I would start with volunteer work, it will pad out the CV and hopefully give him some purpose. 

Contact local collages and trade schools too, I don't know what schemes are available at the moment but round here kids register and start learning a trade and when ready the collage contacts local businesses and tries to place them. If he didn't do well at school they will put him on a foundation course for maths and English and if he is anything like me he will do well. 

I wasn't allowed to do my GCSEs because I had no chance of passing but at collage in a different Learning environment I smashed it. 

 chris_r 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I wouldn't start with volunteering to be honest. It's a job-seeker's market now, with not enough staff and too many posts to fill. Hence Pret a Porter giving it's third pay rise in 12 months (announced today). I think a young lad would be far more motivated by a few quid in his pocket than by experience that pads out his cv.

Maybe you could help remotely with job searches on the web. Obvious sectors are hospitality, retail and warehousing. Conversations about "where do you want to be in 5 years" can be had later once he's back in the habit of doing a 37hours a week job.

 jiminy483 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I always found it quite easy to get labouring work on building sites. You need a qualification do get the work

Having this qualification eliminates a lot of the competition, I'd ring all the temping agencies and work would come through, my best job was working away on a Tesco in Wales, got paid 350 a week and got offered a full time job but I was starting Uni a few weeks after.

 ianstevens 02 Mar 2023
In reply to chris_r:

Exactly this. Also the job centre/universal credit people (assuming he's on it) should be providing some direction and upholding some level of job applications - I would have thought that even with an empty CV a typical job suited to someone fresh out of school would be in reach. So as said, warehouse work, retail and hospitality. The other option, although one that requires a little more self-management, would be something like Deliveroo if a) it's in his area and b) he has a bike or vehicle. Its super crappy pay and conditions, but they'll take pretty much anyone and will get some experience on the CV.

 subtle 02 Mar 2023
In reply to Dax H:

> I wasn't allowed to do my GCSEs because I had no chance of passing but at collage in a different Learning environment I smashed it. 

I was in a similar scenario - left school at 16, went straight into local college, different environment (treated as an adult as opposed to a kid), three years there, four years degree and then professional qualification

If the lad doesn't fancy going to college then try get him into building industry as an apprentice - seeing more and more 20something folk starting as opposed to 16/17  year olds doing that, they tend to be a bit more reliable at turning up for the job so looked upon more favorably

Or the old fall back of hospitality / shop working to get some money coming in and used to job structure (turning up on time in a presentable manner)

Its not easy so good luck to him

 compost 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Does he live in social housing? Most social landlords have an employability advice service (it's in their interests to help people avoid falling into arrears)

 compost 02 Mar 2023
In reply to compost:

Not sure where in the NE he is but there are loads of apprenticeships available - does he want to work with his hands or in an office?

 Groundhog 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Your situation sounds quite similar to my own. In my case it's my grandson who is 16 and won't get out of bed except to sit in front of his computer. He too has a waste of space of a father and an over coddling mother. He is enrolled at college to do an engineering course but hardly ever attends. He has not left his bedroom for 2 weeks now! He used to come climbing with me but now won't.            I wish you the very best of luck with your nephew.

 Wil Treasure 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

There's lots of unskilled work available through agencies at the moment. Even if they might send you to some tedious roles there's the chance of a bit of variety and seeing different environments, and sometimes a permanent role off the back of it. Pay is usually weekly which is a good motivator, as it really makes you see the value of every hour you work.

I worked as a care worker for the last few years, there are lots of vacancies and often a bonus for referrals by staff, which would help him to get an interview if he has any contacts working in the sector. It's a very varied role, working with people with wide-ranging issues and all parts of society. If you're new to it a residential facility is probably best, as you'll be working with others to build knowledge and confidence. In the community you may often be on your own, you could be visiting lots of people, or working 1-to-1. Pay isn't great, but you might get extra for nights and weekends, there's not shortage of shifts and pay has generally improved in the last couple of years. I would research companies beforehand, as poor management is the one major issue I've had, but I've found the job very rewarding.

 Jenny C 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

First of all, well done for stepping up and taking responsibility for the lad. Such a shame when parents let down their kids.

If he is on jobseekers they may well pay for qualifications. So before you pay anything out yourself research those options, I'm also pretty sure the offer basic maths and English training for those who failed to get school qualifications.

Dare I say on here, could be one of the 'winners' in Brexit? Traveling elsewhere in the country taking seasonal working opportunities traditionally filled by foreign workers? Obviously short term, but would build up his CV and give him the reality check of not being mollycoddled by Mum.

​​​​​Regarding being depressed make sure he knows he can phone you 24/7, but also provide him with a selection of phone numbers that he can call if he needs to for sport. Where I live you can self refer to IAPT for NHS funded mental health support. It might also be worth researching any local groups, especially those for young people in his area.

Regarding volunteering, does he have any interests? For example instead of formal volunteer work, could he help out at a local club that he is/was involved with? So maybe Scouts, or offering to do hold cleaning (a dirty job nobody likes) at his local Climbing wall on an as/when basis - gives him a purpose and sense of responsibility, but in an environment he enjoys.

 Siward 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Isn't the answer a qualification? For example my daughter's other half is a welder and he can step in and out of well paid jobs at will. Is he too old for an apprenticeship? 

 Lankyman 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

My recent experience of grocery retail (at the entry level) is that they barely read the CV and references not at all. I encountered some really good folks and some real wasters who you'd wonder how the hell they got taken on. If your man is willing to crack on you can progress but it's a job with a few downsides such as early and late shifts and relatively low pay. For getting a foot in the door it might be just the job (sorry!). You get a discount as well - every little helps (sorry again!).

In reply to ThunderCat:

There is one project that is in a position to invest in people and that is HS2. They are making a lot of capitol in taking on apprentices.

I big thank you from me for being such a great Uncle.

 elsewhere 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Advice for those getting started from a recruitment agent (not me, one I know) - any experience is good as shows reliability, team work and communication skills - it's in careers or management speak but it means you turn, do the job, get on with others whether you like them or not.

In reply to ThunderCat:

I used to know a lad in similar circumstances. I think he used to smoke quite a bit of weed in addition to the drink. His dad was a nice bloke but a useless parent. He did manage to get his son a job in a small business through a friend. I’ve worked at the same small business off and on, and this would have been a brilliant opportunity. A really interesting place to work. Anyway, he turned up late for his first day, and subsequent days, and eventually didn’t turn up at all one day. So he lost the job. I think after so long of not having worked it was just too hard for him to shake off his old habits and get some healthy new ones which might have helped with his depression. For him, it might have been better to have started with something part-time and voluntary, not so much to pad out his CV but to get him used to working.

From what I’ve seen of apprenticeship schemes, they are very competitive and can afford to pick only the most switched-on people. Maybe something to aspire to once he has a few months of getting up for work under his belt. 

In reply to ThunderCat:

In no particular order, the winning approaches have always been

  • Voluntary Work
  • Join the Army 

But the joker in the pack is...

  • Reach Truck

Counterbalance-forklift and reach-lift-truck licence *should* belong to the driver and be transferable, not tied to the company - well it always used to be the case! maybe he never really had a full licence?
I got past a dry spell myself years ago, by self sponsoring (i.e. paying) to attend a reachlift course (4 or 5 day course). I got a job offer before I'd even finished as someone phoned up the training company and asked if anyone was self sponsored and wanted a job. He's unlikely to be that lucky but there's always demand for warehouse/forks work. If you did reach lift truck first (not counterbalance) you could then down-convert to counterbalance in a 1 day course/test, maybe you can convert either direction, but reach to counterbalance is the obvious one

If he doesn't want to join the Army, then if you are really really altruistic, pay for him to attend a reach truck course/exam. If he has to do the full course it's about £400 but maybe he can do a 1 day refresher? £150 if he is experienced but doesn't posses his licence

If you are able to drop £400 on him (not so easy, especially these days), it might turn him around. I strongly recommend reach truck first (and counterbalance second), mostly anywhere that has a reach truck also has or uses a counterbalance forklift, but not necessarily the other way around.  

Edit: credit where credit's due... it was actually my dad that gave me the money for the reach truck course!

Post edited at 12:21
 bouldery bits 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

McDonald's have a good rep for looking after their people. Could be a good starter role and will develop some skills before moving on to bigger things in the future. Alternatively, they have options internally and progression is available. 

After that, maybe look into Apprenticeships. 

Good luck, you're trying to do something important and impactful. 

 Andy Hardy 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

What kind of stuff does he find interesting?, and how much of that can he get paid for, and is legal?

In the short term I'd be going to agencies for entry level / manual type jobs.

E2A. If you hear of something near to you, could you put him up? It'd get him in new environment, clean start and all that

Post edited at 12:08
OP ThunderCat 02 Mar 2023
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Interesting.....he's my only nephew from up there.  I'd be more than willing to help him with the cash

In reply to ThunderCat:

Have you got room at home? Maybe a move to a place with lots of opportunity and a supportive uncle might be just the thing.

In reply to ThunderCat:

He's gotta start from scratch. What does he want to do? If he knows just hunt down every local company and apply for an entry level position, there are lots of entry level labourer positions etc. If he needs to study for a role then that's the next step there. If he doesn't know then maybe a career guidance counselor would be a very worthwhile investment, they might be able to find out what he likes, get some inspiration going. Whilst he's getting started he could volunteer part time at a charity, it will be a cv filler and get him used to a bit of responsibility whilst helping out the charity.

 Forest Dump 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Yup, well done for paying an interest and supporting.

My adult daughter in law never worked once through her teens or uni. Upon graduating the second time with her fairly unemployable MA she went the usual route of fast food, retail, admin grade civil service, all over about 3 years. I still find her quite immature / young for her age but that route should be easily doable wherever you are in the UK, bar the last step which depends on proximity to a Civil Service / gov site.

Nb, she hated the first two steps, especially mcdonalds where she was a good few years older than other junior colleagues straight out of of school. However, enjoyment wasn't really the point. She soon got used to the cash and wanted more.

My first job was also at maccies, then a KP in a large hotel & restaurant kitchen, before getting some cheffing experience. If the kitchen thing fits then that's a well known career path for the worlds waifs, strays and ne'er do wells

Post edited at 12:42
 Ian W 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Can you say where he lives?

If in Durham, these may be useful;

Im sure there will be similar in other NE Counties - and if he's really desperate, Amazon are always recruiting.

DM me if you want to discuss any local possibilities.

OP ThunderCat 02 Mar 2023
In reply to Ian W:

Hi Ian, he's Sunderland based.

 The Norris 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

This might not be helpful at all, but there are quite a few 'bootcamp' type short courses you can apply for these day, quite often for free, withe the aim of helping people make a start on a new career, or career change etc (eg I'm currently doing one in data analytics and really enjoying it). 

There may be something more suited to his interests on here,worth a look through at least

 Ian W 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

> Hi Ian, he's Sunderland based.

I suppose someone has to be.........

but yes, as in other posts on here, there are various schemes all over the place that can help; its just sometimes difficult to navigate through them.......

As before, if you have a word with the relevant youth and let me know if theres anything you think i can help with, just ask.....

OP ThunderCat 02 Mar 2023
In reply to Ian W:

Will do fella, I appreciate that.  

 Jenny C 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Not stereotypical work for a young lad, but it sounds like care homes are desperate for hard working staff. OK long antisocial hours and very hard work, but I'm sure they will provide all training and if he has the right temperament I'm guessing it's a pretty secure job.

Seems silly to invest money in training unless you are sure that he will take full advantage of the opportunity.

OP ThunderCat 02 Mar 2023
In reply to Jenny C:

Care homes were on my list of things to suggest too, actually.  

 Jenny C 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I think it's the kind of work that's a vocation. Very few lads want the work, but those that do are often very good with the residents as they genuinely care.

Edit - might help him to learn some essential domestic life skills as well.

Post edited at 15:24
 Bobling 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Forces is tough but can be very rewarding and tend to give people skills in self-discipline and self-motivation that stick with them for life.  

I've got quite friendly with one of our Young Leaders in Scouts recently who has just been accepted into the RAF, it took bloody ages but gave him great focus and motivation.  He's been attending college but is not at all invested in it, working part time at KFC.  He's got a gleam in his eye now and is really excited to be off to do amazing things in amazing places.

Worth saying though that if he does go forces he might want to consider getting a trade rather than just PBI as you can come out with qualifications that translate very well to the world outside (not that section attacks aren't a transferable skill they are just a bit niche).

The Army Reserve is a potential taster for this and has the benefit that you get paid!  When I was in the TA there seemed to be lots of opportunities for additional work for anyone who did not have a 'proper' job.

I have a nephew too who has popped out of full time education with seemingly no ambition but to spend life in his bedroom on his computer, it's tough in a way for this generation as they can do that and still interact with the whole world from the comfort of their screen whereas our bedrooms were much more limited!

Good on you for taking an interest, and yes weed is the motivation killer as someone upthread said.

 seankenny 02 Mar 2023
In reply to Jenny C:

> Not stereotypical work for a young lad, but it sounds like care homes are desperate for hard working staff. OK long antisocial hours and very hard work, but I'm sure they will provide all training and if he has the right temperament I'm guessing it's a pretty secure job.

I was just this week visiting my Mum’s care home and one of the assistants was a young Bangladeshi lad, he seemed to be doing okay and the residents liked him, as far as I could tell. 

There are so many good ideas in this thread that the OP can’t help but find something useful. It might be worth exploring how the nephew would feel about moving away from home if the OP can put him up for a bit - even six months working away might be enough to give him a bit of a kickstart. One other thing: modern cannabis is very strong and I’m sure it can’t have a positive effect on motivation, so if he indulges he should maybe keep it for weekends only. (Edit: I see someone else has mentioned this, I’m not at all anti-drugs but this young man sounds like he struggles with sailing into the wind.)

Post edited at 15:34
 hang_about 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Well done you! It sounds like he needs a supportive friend/relative and that's a first step. My other half's lad struggled after Uni. He got depressed as he lacked confidence and this spiralled. She got him some voluntary work at a local IT help group - helping people who didn't know how to turn a PC on. Two days a week. He's a 'people person' and the regular interaction helped shift his viewpoint and build self confidence. Then casual work at the local Uni - but he's a grafter so they kept him on when the job roles were slimmed down. This led to a permanent job - and now he's moved on to pastures new (and doing all his financial exams). It all started with that little bit of help to get going - and the positive reinforcement of doing something, however small, well. Best of luck to your nephew.

 Babika 02 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

If he's on UC or JSE he should definitely do or have done a 1 day course on drafting your CV. It's virtually mandatory if you want to keep getting the money. 

 neilh 03 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I have read about charities set up to help young adults in similar situations where they carefully teach h people how to gain confidence in a working environment. They start with if you like placements in charity’s to get people use to working and then build up from there.0

just by you acting as a mentor to him is a great starting point. 

Post edited at 07:30
 MisterPiggy 03 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

I hope it works out for the young lad !

I read with interest all the posts so far. Unless I missed something, no one suggested taking him climbing. We all know the benefits of the activity, especially outdoors. Maybe give that a try?

The suggestions of volunteering for charities/NGOs is a sound one. I've been both volunteer and manager of volunteers: both the charity - and their beneficiaries - and the volunteer are winners. It's not just about padding a CV, it's taking part in something that's for the greater good. And there's no reason at all that a job and volunteering should not go together, rather than being either/or. Plenty of volunteers have no special skills and are still valuable because they have energy, heart and enthusiasm.

Any old job - McDo for example - will bring benefits. Little money, sure, but turning up on time, listening/learning, getting on with folks you may not like, learning what kind of work you do don't like are all valuable making any endeavour however humble worth a go.

With his volunteer efforts, his outdoor activities (or other sports) and his new job, he won't have time to drink and will be in the company of other go-getting youngsters - a recipe for success?

Add into the mix some trade qualifications and in a few years he'll be all set.

PS. I'd also advocate the armed services. And in a couple of years, when he's more mature and knows better himself, perhaps a stint with the VSO?

Hope I've not overstepped the mark. Best of luck to him and you. 

OP ThunderCat 03 Mar 2023
In reply to MisterPiggy:

> Hope I've not overstepped the mark. Best of luck to him and you. 

Course not, it's all really, really helpful.

 Phil1919 03 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Seasonal job with the YHA which includes board.

In reply to ThunderCat:

A good place to look for work with limited CV's is kitchens. I worked for a fair few years post uni in kitchens, starting as a Kitchen Porter and moving through to chef. It's later starts so a bit less of a shock to the system than suddenly going from lying in to getting up at 7am, and it's a fairly social enjoyable place to work. It's also a great career path if you don't have qualifications. Most of the chefs I know, and worked with, came to it from a very different place without any intention of that being their career. It's engaging, creative and you get to eat some nice food while you work.

 GregHood 05 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Princes Trust run programs that might fit the bill. Forces has been mentioned a few times, if the discipline of a uniformed service is going to suit him but doesn't fancy being shot at,

might be a good place to start.

 Tom Last 06 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

What about work as a groundie for a tree surgeon? Incredibly hard physical work, so not everybody sticks it but also means there's often work avaiable for those who can. You can start pretty much unskilled, but given a decent boss and a keen eye, he'll pick up skills and eventually learn to use chippers, groundsaws etc and can move on to proper tickets/climbing and better money. It's a decent learning curve but fairly slow (unless you go straight for the tickets) as the work is a bit dangerous and consequential obviously.  Can be incredibly enjoyable (though can't emphasise the physicality enough) - he'll either love it or hate it.

I phoned up a bloke I didn't know after a bit of a crisis a few years back and and just asked for work. Ended up doing it for a couple years with him, enjoyed it and learned a lot. In the end, it is a younger man's game if you're starting out. Could be worth a shot.

Good luck to the lad.

 Chris Haslam 06 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Good on you pal!  Some thoughts:

- Armed forces, no personal experience here but it always seems like a solid career and a variety of roles to suit all personality types 

- I've a friend who volunteers 2 days a week at the local country park, no experience needed. She plants trees and cuts back brambles all day with a nice group of people but more importantly its a great way into a paid job as a countryside ranger

-I did 4 years in McD as a teenager/student and while it was hard work I've no regrets. Could have gone on to a leadership role if I didn't have other plans. The flexibility was great, being able to adjust shifts around studies etc and ramp up hours in holidays. 

-Went to an open day for a local agricultural college recently,  my god the place was like a sweet shop. The courses on offer (countryside management,  arboriculture,  fisheries, farming, outdoor ed) sounded great fun, tractors, chainsaws, wildlife. They had residential places and you could do foundation course if you needed GCSEs. 

I'm sure you get this but be mindful of strong forces in his life right now such as mates and girls that pull him away from work and career. I'd be ready for any help you give him to be a bit of a slog on your side.  His road to success may not be linear! 

Good luck!

 Andy Hardy 06 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Went past armcon in Poynton yesterday, they have a massive sign outside looking for apprentices - worth a call?

 mike123 06 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat: good on you for taking an interest . The building trades are all short of apprentices who aren’t useless . The big  problem is finding young people who don’t have “attitude “   , you mention something about him being shy or reserved ? Give my shy and reserved , but happy to dig in , over a gob sh1et who’s too good to sweep up any day . Would it be possible for him to relocate closer to you and for you to find a tradesman to take him on ? Initially just to sweep up and fetch and carry ? This is what apprentices used to have to do but now many seem to think It’s beneath them . Why not go to a few tradesmen and say he’s happy to do all the grunt jobs for a year and if he’s usefull then would you consider letting him be an apprentice ? 

 TechnoJim 06 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Consider the events industry. I've just 'retired' into a 9-5 job at and I'm symptomatic of a whole rake of folk in their 40's and 50's who are leaving for the sake of their homelife/joints/livers. I'm an electrician but there's a shortage of good crew across the board. 

I had an absolute riot doing the circuit in my 20's and 30's, earned enough to get a mortgage, met people who became friends for life. 

If he can turn in on time and pull his weight then he's already qualified. 

If he's in the North East then try Geordie Crew in Newcastle, or. slightly further away, Gallowglass in Leeds/Edinburgh or Showtec in Edinburgh.

In reply to ThunderCat:

If he doesn't know what he wants to do then I'd say finding a good employer is his priority. There are loads of jobs out there, but not loads of good employers.  If he works for a good employer they'll train him up and develop him if he has the potential and wherewithal.  It might be worth prioritising a large / varied business, that way if he doesn't like the job he starts with, there's potential to move within the business.  It's nearly always easier to recruit from within a business, so if he has a foot in the door....

 henwardian 08 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Crickey. When there are so many potential directions, it's hard to know where to start. A few options:

- Get more qualifications - there are various college/university options as well as professional qualifications like the chainsaw one and the rope access one and so on, there is also gov money pots around that might help fund some of these, and there are student loans for others.

- Volunteer - I don't know a lot about this.

- Join an agency - if the kid is really shy, this might be one of the best options, I know when I was a kid, the idea of going round businesses and just asking about jobs would have been pretty intimidating. When the agency does at least some of the legwork for you and then hands you opportunities, it does give you a bit of a helping hand.

- Print 50 copies of a CV, walk the town and go in and ask about applying in every place you see a sign in the window advertising an opening. Mostly ignore the pre-requisites, they are not going to be prohibitive (e.g. Phd or higher in aerodynamics) because those kind of jobs are not advertised in the windows of businesses, and in the current job market, employers could easily find themselves having to take on someone without relevant experience and give them a load more pointers on the job because there simply aren't that many applicants out there.

- Buy the local papers and phone/email every job advert, again, ignore lower tier requirements like "previous experience in".

- etc. etc.

I would say to make a plan. If the target turns out to be "get a job" and all else is secondary, then make a 2-week plan with a target for each weekday and be fully off at the weekend. The day one target should be to complete a simple, generic CV, you can always taylor it a little for different jobs later on but you want a 1-page CV with just facts on it - name, contact details, address, job history, school grades (if any), any courses, certificates, etc. Don't put a personal statement of any kind on it. Then your plan could have a target one day of "phone/e-mail 15 newspaper job adverts", next day could be "go into 10 shops in town with ads in the window and ask for application form/give CV", etc.

I've been in the mega-shy box before and it really is a case of fake it till you make it. The first time someone gives you responsibility, you are absolutely terrified and can't believe they would make someone as irresponsible as you responsible for something, but after a few months, when there are no radiation leaks and nobody has died on your watch.... maybe that's just me.... you gain the confidence that you absolutely are capable of what you have been charged with. And a year or two later when you take the next step, it's the same feeling, but hopefully a little less this time. In my last career one lunchtime I was chatting with my boss about applicants for position of his boss and just for fun I said, ok, give me the questions that were asked in Interview and I'll see how I do and by the end he basically said "well, you'd probably have a pretty good shot at getting the job". In my own judgement, people would be crazy to think me capable of just vaulting 2 levels into that position (my cv would also likely be a bit light on a few bits of experience but perhaps not insurmountably so with a bit of trumpet blowing). Do you ever look at the drunk, waster students you used to know and wonder how they ever turned into the person holding the scalpel and defibrillator? It feels impossible when you are at the bottom looking up but when you look down from wherever you are, after a couple of years, it all seems pretty easy and logical.

I've also been in the situation where I was new to the country, with absolutely no family or connections and trying to find a job and it was very hard to find anything. Don't underestimate how depressing it is applying for dozens of jobs and hearing nothing back from any of them, your nephew is probably finding if very hard to persevere because procrastination rewards the brain and continual knockbacks damage the ego and are something your primitive brain wants to avoid in any way it can. Your nephew kind of has to win a victory again his own brain and it takes a huge force of will to do that, having someone helpful with him to continually prod and poke and keep him on task should be a huge help, but only if you can do it without that relationship breaking down and rebelling against your help.

It is worth noting that right now should be basically the best possible time in history to be looking for a job in the UK. The unemployment rate is incredibly low right now, brexit has (mostly) cut off the supply of foreign labour and the government are in the middle of deploying the navy to shoot any people floating across the channel in small boats. Employers looking for lower-wage workers are absolutely struggling.

The cheatmode method of getting into the job market, that, maybe most, people use is the entry by association - are there any family friends/extended family who "put in a good word" and get him started in something at the bottom of the ladder? Humans are deeply biologically wired to favour those we have a family or tribal connection with, my first couple of teenage jobs were got this kind of way and I've had one or two odd jobs since where it was pretty much just a friend of a friend recommending me.

To state the obvious; that drinking needs to be controlled, I think that's what needs to be done first, honestly. I think that any sign of drinking being a problem is a huge red flag for employers.

OP ThunderCat 08 Mar 2023
In reply to henwardian:

Epic post and very appreciated. Thank you! 

 mike123 08 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat: just had a conversation that may or may not help but may be pertinent. With a 32 year old Bloke who is now working for a plumber I know / work work with . He got thrown out of school at 15 for smoking dope in the toilets . For the next 14 years he was unemployed but did this and that to fund sitting around smoking weed that according to him was getting increasingly strong . According to him the weed completely robbed him of the desire to do anything . Just before his 30th birthday he woke up one day , looked in the mirror and decided to change . I asked him what bought that on and he said it was mainly boredom . Over the course of a year he stopped smoking and now rarely touches it and doesn’t like it when he does . He is now a very capable plumber and is looking at an adult apprenticeship .  This story made me think of your nephew and wonder if this is a factor ? ? Alcohol is expensive, weed is cheap and stupidly strong . It may be worth broaching this . My kids , 15 and 13 reckon if they wanted ( they don’t ) to they  could buy it , not at school through the wrong uns at school 

 nniff 08 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Bootcamps were mentioned above, - they really are worth a look.  There's an excel spreadsheet here that lists them all

There are of course good, poor and indifferent providers.  The first thing to do is find a subject area that is of interest.  If there isn't one, then there is more work to be done.

I have had an involvement in preparing some of them - digital ones, for QA.  They include soft skills support, interview coaching and an interview with a company that does have vacancies.  They take a lot of effort to put together and the providers have a fair proportion of their fees contingent on a job offer.  It's like being back to school - QA's are all virtual and some of them include formal software vendor certification.  There is another tranche of funding on the way, so there is opportunity.  

Post edited at 14:20
In reply to henwardian:

> after a few months, when there are no radiation leaks and nobody has died on your watch.... maybe that's just me.... you gain the confidence that you absolutely are capable of what you have been charged with.

That's where I went wrong…

Good points. It doesn't help that HR in most large companies feel the need to make entry level jobs sound so daunting that anyone who isn't a total narcissist thinks “There's no way I could handle that”.

In reply to ThunderCat:

Everyone has suggested a variety of different jobs but in my experience the key factor is more jolting him out of sitting about doing f all. How does he currently survive/buy weed and booze etc? If someone is funding him laying about then he has no incentive to go and get a job. The moment that sort of support starts getting removed then you will see a quick change imo.

 Lankyman 09 Mar 2023
In reply to PeteColdham:

> If someone is funding him laying about then he has no incentive to go and get a job. The moment that sort of support starts getting removed then you will see a quick change imo.

I have a nephew and niece who've both reached their thirties by this method. The signs were there right through their childhood and now they are both being supported by working partners. From personal experience I can say that being skint is one helluva motivator.

 Jenny C 09 Mar 2023
In reply to ThunderCat:

Watching the local news (not local to him) what about training as a bus driver? Says there is a national shortage and sounds like you can get paid to train for your HGV licence.

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