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This month we’re shining a light on Chris Tan, one of our Employment Coaches.

Q. When did you join YMCA MK?

A. I joined in March 2020, just a week before the first lockdown. It was an interesting time! Not only was I finding my feet in a new role, but I was part of a team that had to support more than 200 young people adjust to life in a lockdown. It was challenging time to say the least, but we have a great staff team here and we all worked together to best support our residents.

Q. What is the role of an Employment Coach at YMCA MK?

A. As an Employment Coach, my role is to help our residents realise and achieve their career and educational goals. Many of our residents are unsure at first, but I help them explore their options based on their skills, attributes, interests, experience, etc. Once we’ve done that and the resident has a goal in mind, I work with them to develop a plan to get them there.

One of the most important messages we give to our residents is that they ALL have skills and attributes. Many of our residents lack confidence and because of that, they are not able to take a step back and see what assets they do possess. It’s really rewarding to help people realise their potential and see their self-esteem improve through the process.

Q. What types of industries have you supported residents into?

A. I’ve supported residents into a variety of sectors including construction, security, healthcare, retail, etc. We will work to find opportunities for our residents in whichever direction they are keen to explore.

We also support residents who want to further their education. For some residents they are beginning their journey by obtaining English and maths qualifications. Other residents want to start apprenticeships or attend university. This year several residents began studying for a degree, which was great to see.

Q. What’s the best part of your role?

A. For me it’s interacting with our residents, listening to their stories and trying to understand how we can move them forward so that they can achieve their full potential.

Q. If you could only take three things to a dessert island, what would they be?

A. I would hate to be stranded on a dessert island. So, I would take a boat, a pirate and Bear Grylls. I’d soon be off the island and back home!