Case Studies

Hairul, TEAM

6th June 2023

Like millions of young people around the world, Hairul lost his job during the pandemic. But with the help of our TEAM programme in Malaysia, he has turned that ending into a new beginning. Hairul has always enjoyed spending time in nature, but now this passion has become his job.

Before the pandemic, Hairul (25) was an engineering technician. After being laid off, he was determined to find a new position and signed up to take part in TEAM, our intensive pre-employment training programme.

Hairul’s favourite part was his two-week work experience placement with a rainforest conservation centre. The centre clearly enjoyed hosting Hairul too, because as soon as he completed the programme, they took him on as an assistant researcher.

Hairul now works in the forest every day, tending native saplings and monitoring wildlife. He is thriving in his role, with a newfound sense of purpose and connection. ‘The work that I’m doing now is more meaningful,’ he explains. ‘I’m not only focusing on myself, but more on what’s around us, like community, nature and the environment.’

Hands-on learning

Developed by Prince’s Trust International and delivered in Malaysia by our partner Selangor Youth Community (SAY), TEAM is a full-time nine-week programme aimed at young people aged 18-30 who are not in education, employment or training. There is a strong emphasis on learning by doing, and the programme is split into different modules, each lasting one or two weeks.

The induction week is followed by a residential team-building unit, with hands-on activities and games designed to develop participants’ teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Students then spend two weeks planning and delivering real-life community projects – an opportunity for them to practise their emerging skills, while also making a difference in their community. Next comes a work experience placement with a local employer, followed by a final fortnight focused on job-seeking skills, including writing CVs and preparing for and practising interviews.

Triple benefits

Hairul explains that the programme delivered learning opportunities in three different ways: the activities and skills sessions themselves, the mentoring and support from facilitators, and the connection to technical learning opportunities with other organisations – most notably for him the rainforest conservation centre where he now works.

Hairul says that programme gave him the chance to rediscover himself after losing his job, and paved the way for him to enter a new sector that both reflects his interests and broadens his horizons.

‘My work in forestry conservation has allowed me to realise the vast beauty and biodiversity the world has to offer,’ he explains. ‘Back in the day, I would try to find free time to go into the forest. But since I joined this organisation, every day now is a forest day for me.’

In 2022, the year after Hairul joined them, the centre promoted him to become their Biodiversity and Restoration Coordinator. In recognition of Hairul’s determination to transform adversity into opportunity, he was named the 2022 Asian regional winner of the Prince’s Trust annual Global Award.

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