James had worked all his life - starting as an apprentice and progressing to owning a business promoting nightclubs. However, when things in the industry toughened, he was forced to close his business and start applying, for "hundreds and hundreds of jobs".
Prior to this, James had never been unemployed nor had a formal interview - he found the current digital nature of applying for jobs challenging.
"It had all changed from when I was younger; It's all internet based. You send applications off and don't get a reply."
Like many people in James' position, he found himself doubting his employability. James approached a number of support providers, however he did not feel he was making any progress. "They tried to help me, but didn't understand me. They tried to push me into unskilled, low paid jobs. I felt like they were just trying to get me off their books."
When James visited the Cardinal Hume Centre, he met with Sarah from the employment team, who found his strengths and weaknesses and helped him re-write his CV. The personal support provided by Sarah made James feel like he was taking a step in the right direction for the first time since closing his business.
Sarah and the employment team at Cardinal Hume Centre work closely with the Berkeley Foundation to help people, who have been long-term unemployed get back into work through our Job Creation Programme.
Initially, James had an interview with Tina from the Foundation to assess whether the potential role is the right fit for James.
"There were about eight of us. Sarah gave us information and techniques for interviewing, so we'd be prepared for any question Tina might throw at us. You could tell everyone in the room wanted a job. Sarah sat in, so although you're nervous you felt there was a bit of extra support there."
James explained to Tina about his interest in building management and within days she had got him an interview with award winning managing agents, Rendall and Rittner. Despite being nervous, James was encouraged to know his interview was successful.
"I was so excited when I got the role. I contacted Sarah and Tina to thank them immensely! It's not until you get the job that you wanted that you realise a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you have a big smile on your face. You can walk down the street feeling proud again."
"I want people to hear my story so that people, who are having difficulties realise that if they come to the Cardinal Hume Centre, there is help."
"I want people to hear my story so that people, who are having difficulties realise that if they come to the Cardinal Hume Centre, there is help"