Jasmine Jade Duckworth, from Westminster Kingsway College, joined the Career Ready programme in 2018 having moved to the UK from the Philippines a year prior. From a young age, Jasmine had taken on the responsibility of looking after her younger brother who has downs-syndrome and whilst studying for her A-levels took a part-time job to help support her family. Here, she describes what’s behind her drive to do well and how the Career Ready programme has supported that drive for education and career success.

My first year in the UK was tough, I used to get very upset and wonder whether moving here was the right decision. I then made the choice to challenge myself and believe that I could get the best grades possible in my studies for my family. After enrolling at Westminster Kingsway College I got a part-time shop job, my day would consist of getting up, looking after my brother and getting him to school, then going to college, then work. I am known to my classmates and colleagues as being happy and positive and I didn’t want my home life to change that. I saw this all as something that I would overcome to help me develop into a stronger individual.    

I applied for the Career Ready programme because I wanted to challenge myself to participate in things like the masterclasses and internship. I wanted to stand out from the crowd in the future and use these experiences to find out what working life was like. My mentor Lucinda, from the Bank of England, supported and guided me through the whole programme, boosting my confidence and helping me make decisions that will benefit me in the future. The internship at BP encouraged me out of my comfort zone and explore areas of work that were new to me.

I think it’s important that young people get the opportunity to complete an internship, it gives us such good insight into what working life is really like. It’s such a different experience to anything I learnt in college and has really highlighted the skills that I have that are transferrable to the workplace in the future.

Before I started the Career Ready programme I wanted to study Medicine at university. During my 6 week internship at BP I met so many different people who have had different experiences that I realised that there are so many other options out there for me. I am currently applying for university but am also looking into degree apprenticeships in business.

To anyone thinking about joining the Career Ready programme I’d say you should definitely go for it, it has so much to offer and has allowed me to experience extraordinary things. Career Ready has made me a lot more confident and helped me believe in myself and what I am capable of.