HRH the Duke of Cambridge chats about employment with homeless young people
The Duke of Cambridge has begun the New Year with a visit to a Centrepoint hostel to chat about the challenges of getting into work, and take a brief turn as David Beckham.
Prince William, who has been Centrepoint’s Patron for more than ten years, joined a group of homeless young people for a session on interview skills at one of our hostels in Ealing.
The session included a quick game of ‘guess who’, which required the Duke to put a post-it on his head and step into David Beckham’s football boots for a few short minutes.
Sherihan, the young person who was paired with the Duke for the game, was momentarily stumped when his first question was: ‘am I famous?’
After the game, the young people shared their experiences of job interviews and searching for work with the Duke.
Experiencing homelessness between 16 and 25 can hugely disrupt a young person’s education. According to our most recent research, 38 per cent of young people staying with Centrepoint and our partners have fewer than five A* to C GCSEs – which can make it incredibly hard to get a foot on the career ladder.
One young person spoke about how much Centrepoint’s support had helped her.
She said: ‘My employment key worker did practice interviews with me. We went over so many questions and practiced them all, and it really helped my confidence. When I went for the interview, everything we practiced came up, and I got the job!’
After the employment session finished, Prince William met a group of Centrepoint staff and volunteers, including one mentor who spoke to the Duke about her work with young people who want to break into the music industry. The Duke joked, ‘It's all about grime now right? I’m learning all about grime!’
Since becoming patron of Centrepoint in 2005, the Duke has regularly visited our hostels, always taking time to speak to our young people and hear about their experiences, and the challenges they face in leaving homelessness behind them.
Centrepoint’s chief executive Seyi Obakin said: ‘He just wants to meet young people and talk to them, find out what is happening for them, find out what he can do to help.’
Photos by Jeff Moore