Traineeship: Ian's Story

Ian is 17 and originally from Hull. Ian had a very difficult early life; with challenging circumstances. He was expelled from school, in Hull, and has not been in full time education for 3 years. He moved to Blackpool on a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Order in December 2019.

Ian suffered with mental health problems and as a result of this he has been sectioned in the past. This has led to him finding himself in trouble with the police in the past. Ian’s state of mind was poor before coming on the course. He had a bad attitude towards education and had no plans move into education and/or employment. “I was always getting into trouble.”

Ian enrolled on the Traineeship Programme delivered at Blackpool Football Club Community Trust. The programme is aimed young people aged 16-24 who are NEET and require support to gain employment. The programme is a 12 week course covering Functional Skills English and Maths and a range of employability units including Health and Safety at Work and First Aid at Work.

The course also develops learners’ work readiness where learners write and develop CVs, complete application forms and practise interview techniques. As a result of the course, learners are able to build their CVs with new skills and qualifications.

Ian’s cohort has had a challenging traineeship due to COVID-19. The cohort was suspended due to the lockdown and the learners had to continue their course online. This proved testing for the group. Ian continued to engage on the course in lockdown and arrived early at the Football Club in September when the course restarted in person.

The main aspect of the programme is work placements. All learners are required to complete a placement two days a week during the course. The Community Trust works with a wide range of employers in Blackpool to provide a meaningful and quality experience for trainees. Working in a placement helps to build confidence and eases the learner into employment.

After successfully completing the course trainees have gained valuable industry experience and developed key skills required for employment.

What difference has taking part made to Ian?

The course has had a massive impact on Ian. Ian was very shy at the beginning of the course and unsure of his own skills. As the weeks progressed Ian developed into a confident young man and has been helping less confident trainees on the course. Ian didn’t think he would be able to complete any course and so fulfilling the 12 weeks has been a huge achievement for him. “I feel more positive and confident about myself and I feel like I’m going to progress.”

Ian has successfully completed all elements of the Traineeship. Ian completed his work placement at Redeeming Our Communities. ROC is a charity whose main focus in Blackpool is to support vulnerable residents with their garden maintenance and developing communal gardens within some of the most deprived areas in Blackpool.

He is moving back to Hull to live closer to his family upon completion of the traineeship. Ian is starting an apprenticeship in construction in Hull. Ian had no ambition prior to completing the Traineeship and him securing a place on a construction apprenticeship represent a major step forward. “I thought I was going to be on the DOLE.”

Ian’s future is looking a lot brighter than he thought possible just 12 weeks ago and he is looking forward to reconnecting with his family in Yorkshire.

Tom Goulding, Tutor on the Traineeship Programme said, “The progress Ian has made and the distance he has travelled on the traineeship has been amazing. Ian has had a difficult start and he has made some poor decisions; the traineeship has really supported him and set him on a path towards permanent employment. Ian has started on an apprenticeship in Hull, a progression unimaginable before the traineeship. Well done Ian!

James Baker from ROC said, “Ian has got a lot of skills and potential. He has demonstrated leadership and problem-solving skills on his placement. Ian has worked extremely hard whilst working at ROC.

Ian said, “I just want to say a huge thank you for everything you have helped me with. Without your help I wouldn’t have come this far. Thank you!”