After leaving school at 16, with no notable grades, I fell into a career as an electrician. I spent over a decade working on the tools, but I always knew my heart was not in it and I dreamed of a career as a journalist...
I'm so much happier now, I'm like a different person. I am so excited about my life and what I could do, I feel like I can take on the world! I'm working towards becoming a mental health nurse. Having climbed out of my dark hole, I want to help others do the same.
I learnt that I could change myself and now, thanks to xl, I'm working towards my IT Diploma. I'm passionate about helping others, and I help to raise money for those affected by cancer or poverty. I hope to one day set up my own business and donate some of the profit to charity.
The truth was I was nervous. Behind my angry behaviour, I wasn't very confident and didn't dare speak to anyone I didn't know. But once I started on xl I began to feel differently, the staff would actually speak to me about my problems, not judge me for them. Just knowing they really cared meant everything.
Leading careers work in a school is a critical role which requires the upskilling and recognition of teachers who take it on. If we can develop impassioned careers champions in all of our schools we can develop a truly world class career development system.
I want my voice to be heard, but not only my voice, but that of my peers. So often it is translated that the millennial generation does not engage with politics, but I personally think it is better described as politics doesn't engage with us.
The life of a zero hours employee is in many ways similar to that of a freelancer. Compare a graphic designer working in a company to a freelance designer. The freelancer has to hustle for new work, they need to network, they need to produce work, and they only ever get paid as each project is completed. They are paid only for their output...
Volunteers are part of a bigger picture of continued commitment to education and the work they do has dramatically improved the English language skills of the girls in the Rosie May home - a vital first step in breaking a cycle of poverty and institutionalisation.
Why not connect our young people with charities and older generations, meanwhile equipping them with the communication, teamwork and God knows however many other skills they need to get jobs?
Over the past five years the business community has, with the help of subtle assistance from the government, arrived at a point where it can afford to invest in the future. However should Ed Miliband move into Number 10 those conditions would disappear, along with the apprenticeship revival.
You've probably never heard of the company I work for. But our product is all around you. In fact, it's inside you. We make ideas, and we put them in people's heads. Essentially, we create fame.
Taking place on Wednesday, we've got a plethora of employers from across the spectrum to come down to the HuffPost UK offices and chat to teenagers on what they're looking for when it comes to taking on apprenticeships.
It's clear that engineering's brand is holding our profession back and could be putting off the brightest young minds from joining us, man or woman. Our poor image is based on the misconceptions people have of what an engineer does and how they should look.
Having launched VQ Day 2015 here in Wales earlier this month, the latter is particularly relevant. High quality apprenticeships and other vocational qualifications should be a normal career pathway for many more young people, and a routine means through which businesses recruit and develop their talent pipeline.
As employers, we know how tough it is out there, but that doesn't stop us wanting the very best people for the job, particularly as these new recruits could one day become the leaders of our businesses. We want to see evidence that these young people have got what it takes to negotiate the complexities of today's workplace.
How many young entrepreneurs do you see knocking about making some serious money? When I say young, I mean people under 25? There is a reason for that and here is my opinion why...