VIDEO: Youngster turns life around with G&H Apprenticeship
A troubled teenager who was given a chance to forge a career with a G&H apprenticeship says it has helped turn his life around after fearing he would end up in prison.
Jack Craven, aged 16, had struggled to integrate into a number of schools and was at Anerley Street Vocational Centre Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).
His future was not looking promising with the likelihood that he would be not in education, employment or training as his school years drew to a close.
Things changed for Jack when LED Community Foundation started working with Anerley Street PRU.
The Foundation, which aims to create positive change by tackling a range of social issues including crime, anti-social behaviour, health, youth engagement, education and unemployment, arranged a work experience placement for him at G&H in spring 2018.
Jack immediately impressed with his enthusiasm and work ethic and in September was offered four-year apprenticeship with the Fabrication division of the G&H Group.
As part of his apprenticeship, he is studying at Leeds College of Building for an NVQ in Building Services Engineering and Pipefitting.
Almost one year on from when he first joined G&H, he says being given and grasping the opportunity has transformed his fortunes.
Jack Craven said: “The chance of work experience helped me take a step back and realise that what I was doing wasn’t the way forward for me, it was going to be all downhill and nothing in it for me apart from probably prison.
“I felt that being in a PRU defined me but now I’m waking up every morning thinking I can do a hobby that I actually like and it’s work so I’m really enjoying myself.
“All my family are really proud of me and I’m proud of myself.
“I didn’t have a very good school life so to get an apprenticeship, be earning some money and getting my head down is really good.
“I’m taking this chance to start a career.
“I’ve learned so much already and I’m really enjoying it thanks to G&H and LED Community Foundation.
G&H Group Managing Director, Graham Kelly, said: “Jack really impressed us during his work experience and he’s continued to show a lot of enthusiasm and commitment since becoming an apprentice.
“He always arrives early – very early on some occasions – and is really keen to learn and make a go of his opportunity which is refreshing to see.
“We created our Apprentice Training Academy to give young people the chance to gain practical, hands-on experience and training in our purpose-built, in-house centre.
“It is an investment in young people’s and our future.
“It will also help to address the skills shortage in the construction industry.
“We work closely with Leeds College of Building and support our apprentices throughout their training; teaching news skills, mentoring and helping them forge fulfilling careers.”
Director at LED Community Foundation, David Jackson, said: “Jack had fallen in with the wrong crowd and our role is to identify young people in this situation and give them opportunities to turn their lives around.
“G&H has been really supportive of our work and we are grateful they have given Jack a chance to kick-start his training and career.
“Businesses play a really important role in our work and we are always looking for those offering apprentices and who have good corporate social responsibility programmes to help complement what we do.
“We also work with a variety of schools delivering workshops on crime prevention, online safety, knife crime and drugs awareness.”
G&H apprentices are given the chance to try a variety of activities and learn new skills at their own pace which they can draw on for the rest of their careers.
They spend time with the Group’s five different divisions – Building Services, Renewables, Fabrication, Maintenance and Air Conditioning – and experience regular site visits to widen their knowledge and understanding.
G&H has a 100 per cent success rate with all apprentices completing the four-year course gaining NVQ Level 3 qualifications.
Approximately 20 apprentices still work with the Group.