Sometimes an unexpected friendship can lead to great things: Josh Carsley’s story

Josh is one of our lively, eccentric, and hard-working learners who has developed his skills and friendship connections by starting off as one of our Summer Sorted learners, eventually leading to becoming a full Jobs Growth Wales + learner.

However, unfortunately, this hasn’t always been a reality for Josh, he attended comprehensive school between 2016-2021 and throughout this time he felt alone and unable to be himself as he spent a lot of his time being mentally and physically bullied, the main reason for the bullying is because Josh is a loud person who raises his voice when he is speaking, what no one knew about Josh is that the reason he has a loud voice due to coming from a partially deaf household.

Not only did Josh endure bullying within school but it followed on the assigned buses to and from school. One day a Stagecoach driver saw Josh being bullied by a group of people and told him to take a seat on the bus and he’ll drop him off, this is where Josh’s friendship with Stagecoach began. The bus drivers of Stagecoach would take Josh to and from school and developed a safe and supportive relationship with him, in fact, they were the people who recommended ITEC Skills and Employment to Josh and encouraged him to sign up for the 2021 Summer Sorted programme where he was able to gain skills in employability, confidence and life skills; it also encouraged Josh to make new friends with whom he still speaks to now. As his time on the summer programme came to an end Josh was even more ready to start studying Independent Living Skills at college.

Earlier this year, Josh decided to leave college and re-join ITEC Skills and Employment as a JGW+ Engagement where he can gain new skills and qualifications and explore his options of going out on a work experience placement with hopes of trialling out a mechanics position after his scheduled informal interview with a local motor vehicles garage.

Josh decided to make the change of coming back to ITEC Skills and Employment as due to his previous experience, he viewed this as a safe and judge-free environment where he is accepted for being himself.