Teen proves himself with KFC job after leaving school with three GCSEs

Ryan Sinnott is now a team member at Great Homer Street's KFC
-Credit: (Image: Ryan Sinnott)

A teenager has said "if you put the work and effort in you can get anywhere".

Ryan Sinnott, from Walton, left Alsop High School on Queens Drive, in 2021, with three GCSEs. The teenager wasn’t feeling hopeful about his future career aspects as he didn’t manage to get a qualification in maths, English or science - which, often, employers require as a minimum.

Not knowing what to do, the now-19-year-old attended Bootle’s Hugh Baird College to study creative media despite having little interest in the subject.

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He told the ECHO: “The main setback for me was my self-esteem, it brought it down. I felt like I wasn’t set up, ready or had the same amount of opportunities as everyone else who had more GCSEs. When you’re fresh out of school it's really hard. I felt like I was unsuitable for work by these unfortunate circumstances. I’ve faced so many challenges in my hunt for a job.

“When I opened my GCSEs, I wasn’t shocked but there were a lot of emotions for me. It felt like a lot was going and I wasn’t in the right mindset then.”

Ryan attended a Universal Credit meeting when he was referred to the youth employability programme, Hatch. The Liverpool initiative helps 16-24-year-olds who have faced barriers to employment, build their work skills and confidence to land their first job.

Through the programme, Ryan secured a job at Great Homer Street’s KFC as a team member - something he doubted would be possible for some time.

Ryan Sinnott with his KFC manager James
Ryan Sinnott with his KFC manager James -Credit:Ryan Sinnott

He said: “Having a job makes me feel much better about everything. It shows I have experience and can work - I can add something else to my CV now as well. I can do certain things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do before.

“I haven’t got much experience in restaurants and the fast-food nature of it so to have supportive co-workers is really helpful. Now, I’ve got myself out there, even without GCSEs, it shows that if you put the right work and effort in you can get anywhere. It is just a matter of time. It’s really hard but I got there eventually.”

Recent figures show Ryan isn’t alone in his feeling that there is a lack of opportunities and support available in the North West.

Office for National Statistics shows that from October to December 2023 there were 851,000 young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) – a 2.5% increase on the previous year

Ndidi Okezie, chief executive officer of UK Youth, said: "The ongoing effects of the pandemic, combined with the current cost of living crisis, are harming the job prospects of young people. We must pay attention to the concerns of the next generation as they look to enter the workforce, their success is essential for the economic and overall prosperity of the UK.

“The Hatch programme has already supported so many young people across Manchester, Scotland and Birmingham, and we’re proud to be teaming up with KFC once again to help disadvantaged young people in Liverpool develop the confidence and skills necessary to find stable employment”.

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