‘Always fight for your dreams!’

Posted: August 23, 2021

That’s the inspirational message from Ryan Ellis who, thanks to support from Leeds City College, has overcome the challenges of autism to land a job he loves.

Ryan was just 15 when he started studying at the college after leaving school – and was determined to secure a job in the travel industry.

He went on to complete a number of courses, including in aviation and cabin crew, but found his autism presented major challenges to his educational advancement.

Strong support from his tutors, however, and then later career assistance from the college’s Prince’s Trust Team Programme helped him overcome those obstacles.

Invaluable help

Ryan, who is now a Passenger Support Assistant for LNER (London North Eastern Railway) based at York, said: “I absolutely love my job and I’m soon having a few trial shifts to become an on-board host.

“I was 15 when I first started at Leeds City College, and 20 when I started on the Prince’s Trust programme earlier this year.

“College helped me gain the qualifications I needed to get into the travel industry and, most importantly, the railway industry.

“My autism was a big hurdle at college, as I found it very hard to do some stuff such as presentations. But my teachers always helped me in that respect by finding ways for me to get around the problem. 

“College, and most importantly the guys at the Prince’s Trust, also helped me gain interview skills, which was invaluable in getting my role at LNER.

“I couldn’t have done it without them really, as I was really nervous about my interview, especially.”

A great outcome for a ‘real go-getter’

Prince’s Trust Team Leader at Leeds City College, Amy Lassu, said it was great to see how the extra support that was provided had paid off.

She said: “Ryan benefitted from a reduced class size and two members of staff being in the classroom for support at all times.

“He was also encouraged to take all his chances and follow his dreams fully. Ryan has a real passion for all things transport and I couldn’t think of a more fitting job role for him to excel in!

“He is a real go-getter who always gives 110% in all the tasks and activities he undertakes, including the in-depth interview preparation which enabled him to successfully land his job role.”

Anything is achievable

Ryan, meanwhile, says he hopes others will follow his example and persevere in education – whatever stage of life they’re at – to achieve their ambitions.

He said: “I really would encourage people to take up education, especially within college or university, and I would advise anyone to fight for their dreams even if they think they can’t do it.

“I spent a lot of years in denial and never in a million years would I have thought I’d land a job in the railway industry. Anything is achievable.”

More details on The Prince’s Trust Team Programme course at Leeds City College can be found here.

To find out more about the Prince’s Trust visit www.princes-trust.org.uk .

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