'Course turned my life around'
Before he was helped by the Prince's Trust, Dale Richardson was painfully shy and struggled to find a job.
Now, thanks to the charity, his confidence has soared and he is in permanent employment.
Dale, who lives in New Parks, Leicester, is speaking about his experiences following the release of a report by the trust which found one in 10 young people in the East Midlands felt they could not cope with day-to-day life.
The 21-year-old said he did not know where he would be without the Prince's Trust.
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"I had no confidence because I'd been targeted by bullies when I was at school," he said.
"It was hell and I did whatever I could to avoid going there."
On one occasion, Dale was seriously injured in a fight. He moved school, but the damage had been done.
After gaining three GCSEs, he applied for more than 60 positions in the retail sector, but when no job was forthcoming his motivation dropped.
Dale found out about the Prince's Trust team programme from his job centre.
Its 12-week courses provide an opportunity for young people to acquire workplace skills and gain confidence.
"I was quite shy before but I have much better communication skills now," said Dale.
"We did team-building exercises and they helped me realise that I did have skills and that if I applied myself, I could solve problems.
"I don't think I'd be the person I am now if I hadn't done the course, and crucially, I don't think I would have a job."
While on the course, Dale secured a work placement with Marks & Spencer, and made such a good impression that they offered him a job.
"I'd recommend the course to anyone out there like me," he said.
The Prince's Trust Youth Index found young people not in employment, education or training were significantly more likely to feel unable to cope than their peers.
John O'Reilly, the charity's regional director, said: "A frightening number of unemployed young people in the East Midlands feel unable to cope, and it is particularly tough for those who don't have a support network in place.
"It is often those from the most vulnerable backgrounds who end up furthest from the job market. But with the right support, we can help get these lives on track."