George’s award was for the success he has reached following completion of the Exploring Enterprise 2 Programme (EE2P) through North City Business Centre. 23 year old George, from the
EE2P gives unemployed people a first insight into starting a business and a foot up onto mainstream business support programmes. It is part-funded by the European Social Fund, the Department for Employment and Learning, Enterprise NI and the local Enterprise Agencies under the NI ESF Programme 2007-13.
The Programme delivers comprehensive training and development activities which give candidates a formal CCEA qualification, as well as developing essential skills and improving confidence. George was nominated for the award by his mentor, Angela Montgomery of North City Business Centre.
Angela said, “Through the Exploring Enterprise Programme we hope to create a pool of new business talent within
“George has done incredibly well. His enthusiasm to learn and change his life around was evident to all of us as he began to look forward to a future job. His positive attitude was contagious – he’s an inspiration!”
Since completing the EE2P programme, George, who is deaf in one ear, suffers from ADHD and has overcome several other serious personal issues, has been unemployed since leaving school with no formal qualifications. Through the programme, he has been given the skills and confidence to overcome these difficulties, to mix with people and build friendships. These changes are helping to turn George’s life around and not only has he plans to gain his GCSE’s but he has taken on a volunteering role with Rathbone, using his own experience to support young people and helping to prevent drug abuse and suicide. He has become a role model for local young people.
George Phillips said, “I got in with the wrong crowd at secondary school and left with no exams. I’ve not been able to get a decent job, it was pretty hopeless and I attempted suicide a couple of times. The course really gave me confidence: I have discovered skills I didn’t even know I had. I was pushed out of my comfort zone but I’m so glad – I was really determined to change my life. The tutors are amazing and I’m really happy I can help other young people now – to get them off the street corners. I’m hoping I can get my exams and I am now thinking about a business idea.”
Gordon Gough, Chief Executive,
“Almost 450 people have completed the Exploring Enterprise2 Programme to date and in doing so they have increased their employment capabilities. In the current climate it is vital that people have the skills and networks to grasp employment opportunities and start their own business. Growing the private sector is a key component of the Northern Ireland Economic strategy and EE2p is right at the heart of this.”