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Brian with his National Careers Service coaches Lisa and Howard

A mouth-wateringly tasty ‘thank you’ surprise from Brian to his National Careers Service advisers, Lisa and Howard.

Two of our National Careers Service advisers, Lisa and Howard, look like they won’t be going hungry for a while. One of their customers, Brian, surprised them by popping into their office with a box of naughty-but-nice cream cakes, as a thank you for the support he’s received.

Brian has been unemployed since the security company he worked for went out of business 18 years ago.

Since then, Brian found himself caring for his mum after she had a heart attack, and doing a variety of voluntary roles – but no paid employment. Now, with his mum in full-time care, the 55-year-old from Birkenhead wants to get back into work.

A box of cakes to say thank you“I realised I was just sitting at home most of the time,” he says. “I was just making a regular trip to the Job Centre once a fortnight. I really want to get back to work and would love a job working back in the security industry once again.”

In March 2023, Brian attended a Job Fair at the Seetec Pluss offices in Birkenhead and got talking to some of the National Careers Advisers who had a stand at the event.

“I told them I needed support in boosting my confidence,” he says, “and that I’d not applied for a job for so long that I wasn’t sure how to go about it.”

Working with careers advisers Lisa and Howard, it was soon evident that Brian would benefit from some support in learning techniques for sitting exams.

“When I first worked in security, I didn’t need an SIA certificate and now I do. But I needed some help to teach me how to put myself in the best position to take an exam.”

Lisa continues: “When we first met, Brian told me he wanted to get his SIA Licence but that he didn’t think he was ready.

“So we’ve been working together to take him through the various steps and boost his confidence.”

Brian with his certificateDogged Determination

“We see lots of people like Brian. People who want to progress their career path but who haven’t sat an exam since they were at school. It can be quite daunting.”

So Lisa and Howard worked with Brian and put him in for a Traffic Marshalling Course.

“I failed it twice,” Brian says. “But you didn’t give up,” Lisa quickly adds.

On the third attempt, Brian not only passed, but he received an amazing 90% score which, in turn, has boosted his confidence even further.

“I was over the moon,” he says. “I felt so grateful to Lisa and Howard that I just had to go out and get them cakes as a thank you!”

Brian knows he’s still got a little way to go before being able to apply for his dream job, but he’s already feeling a lot less anxious about taking  his SIA exam.

“It’s another step on his journey,” reflects Lisa, “and often that’s what it’s all about. Brian has attended several workshops and, even though he failed his first course a couple of times, he didn’t give up. It’s great to see how determined he is!

“We wish Brian the best of luck and will continue to support him as he moves closer towards his goal.”

And what about those mouth-watering cakes? Well the ironic part of the story is Brian can’t eat sweet things – he’s diabetic! But we reckon there are at least two of our careers advisers who will help him out!


If you’re in a similar position to Brian and would like more information about the support and guidance we can offer, give us a call on 0800 100 900 or visit our website at


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