A Plymouth man has won a Royal Award for his achievements against the odds, says the Plymouth Herald.
Chris Roberts, 25, from Southway, initially went to university, but after his course didn’t work out for him, he found himself in a cycle of low paid, unfulfilling work, says The Prince’s Trust.
Chris then enrolled on the ‘Get into Construction’ course, run by The Prince’s Trust, and has gone on to secure his dream job of working as an electrician.
Now, Chris has won the Rising Star award at The Prince’s Trust Awards following his hard-work and enthusiasm on the construction course and the amazing leadership skills he showed that made him ‘stand out’ from the rest of his group.
A spokesperson for the Prince’s Trust told Plymouth Live that Chris is an ‘incredible young man’ who ‘surpassed all expectations’.
Chris told Plymouth Live he believes he won due to the support he offered his course mates, some of whom struggled at times on the course, and because he was resilient and willing to work hard in a new endeavour after his university plan didn’t work out for him.
Chris said he hoped for a ‘foot in the door’ from the course and that he only expected to be able to apply for ‘basic manual labour’ after it.
However, thanks to the skills he learnt, the support offered and the ‘network of contractors’ he was able to work with, Chris’s course helped him secure work experience and an electrical apprenticeship at Whitehead Building Services, which has now led to a job.
Chris said: “The [Get into Construction] programme was amazing. I loved getting so much practical experience and making new friends and connections. I went on to secure a role as an apprentice electrician with Whitehead Building Services and haven’t looked back since.”
He said: “I’ve managed to get into the construction industry and secure an apprenticeship with the hope of turning it into a career. This would not have been possible without The Prince’s Trust. They’ve given me much more than a job, they’ve helped me to get onto the path towards my dream career.”
Chris said that he dropped out of university at the end of his second year, and although he only had one year left, he wasn’t happy on the course and knew he wanted to try a different path.
Chris told Plymouth Live: “[People] should not be scared to take a step back and think ‘maybe this isn’t for me'”
“There’s always something out there for you if you put your mind to it,” he added.