Tariq Kamel, 25 from Ladbroke Grove

Tariq worked in sales since he was 19, but decided to leave the sales industry in 2009 looking for a new challenge. He had considered going to University but as his career in sales took off, he found himself without a degree and experience in an industry he no longer wanted to work in. His decision to leave the sales industry couldn’t have come at a worse time- he left his job just as the country was hit by the worst part of the recession. He was unemployed for 12 months and was losing hope of finding a role that would give him the job satisfaction that he craved for. As a long-time fitness enthusiast, Tariq was immediately keen on doing the TAG course when he was told about it by his local Job Centre. Before going on Jobseeker’s Allowance Tariq had been reluctant to rely on any help from the Job Centre as he wanted to “stand on his own two feet”, however as his situation wasn’t getting any better, he decided to seek help from and was pleasantly surprised by the options the Job Centre had available.

During his training Tariq was mentored by John Bardouille, whom Tariq speaks very highly of:

“The training period was amazing, but a shock to the system. John’s influence made a massive difference, not only was he a great teacher, you could tell he knew what he was talking about. I really respect John- he made it clear what he expects from you but also what he expects from himself.”

Tariq also speaks highly of the people he met on his course and about TAG soft skills training:

“The course allowed me to meet people I normally wouldn’t have met- it was a real mixture. There’s a group of about seven of us who still keep in touch, I want everyone to succeed and regularly check on up what everyone else is doing. During the course I almost felt like an older brother to some of the people, as a lot of them had never had a job before. When John was teaching the group what to say and how to behave in a job interview, a lot of my course mates were surprised when I handled the exercises so well. What they forgot was that I had 5 years of work experience. I felt like I wanted to look out for the other guys and encourage them to also do well on the course.“

Tariq did his placement at two gyms, the latter one of which – Nuffield Paddington- offered him a full-time job. He is now working full-time doing 4-5 gym inductions per day, and is starting his Level 3 Personal Training Qualifications in January 2011. He hopes to finish his studies by June, and aims to work as a Personal Trainer and start taking the next steps towards his career.

He could not be happier about his time with TAG:

“In six months it has completely changed my life, it has given me my independence back and rather than living from day to day I now have plans for the future. If it wasn’t for TAG I’d probably still be unemployed and hoping for something to come along. I feel so much more motivated and where as I never really felt committed towards my career before, I now know exactly what I want and how go about getting it”

If given the chance to speak to the Prime Minister, Tariq has a lot to say:

“I’d urge you to keep programmes like the TAG alive. It keeps people a chance they might have not expected and changes their lives in ways they could have not predicted. Once young people are qualified through the programme I guarantee they will feel motivated. We need young people to start being productive and give back to the society.”


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