Apprentice Name: Carl Stainton
Employer: Works 4 You Ltd, Cleator Moor
Course Undertaking: Amenity Horticulture (Level 2)
Apprentice’s background and circumstances
Apprentice- I left Wyndham School (now West Lakes Academy), Egremont, in 2003 with limited qualifications. At that stage, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in terms of employment and ended up enrolling on a Bricklaying (NVQ) Course at Lakes College. I soon realised that bricklaying wasn’t my preferred vocation and withdrew from the course. In order to earn some money I secured a job working in a warehouse with a local employer in Cleator Moor where I remained for a couple of years. During 2009/10, I spent 12 months working at Works 4 You Ltd in Cleator Moor as part of a job creation scheme delivered by Copeland Borough Council called the Copeland Future Jobs Fund Initiative. As part of this role I had the opportunity to undertake grass cutting, landscaping, and hedgecutting. I enjoyed this experience and as a result felt horticulture was a possible career option for me. Soon after the Future Jobs Fund scheme ended I heard about the Copeland Apprenticeship Scheme and was successful in securing a place. Works 4 You Ltd was one of the employers who applied to the scheme to take on apprentices and they appointed me following the recruitment event.
What progress have you made and what are you hoping to achieve?
Apprentice –. I am working towards an apprenticeship in Amenity Horticulture (Level 2) and have almost completed all of the required units. I have gained experience in hard landscaping such as in fencing and laying patios / driveways. I really feel as though I am a valued member of the Works 4 You team and have a lot to offer. My practical skills have improved since starting the apprenticeship and I now have the confidence to tackle tasks on my own and use my own initiative. I no longer need a supervisor watching over my shoulder when I am erecting fencing ! This opportunity has made me realise how varied horticulture can be.
Employer – When we employed Carl, the main aim was to provide him with the opportunity to gain his Apprenticeship in Amenity Horticulture and we have almost achieved this goal. Over the last few months Carl has gained a lot of knowledge through working with experienced members of staff and in different team situations. He has benefited from different supervision styles rather than the same approach all of the time. For example, he has worked closely alongside a member of staff with a training background who has a ‘hands – on’ approach and this style seems to have suited him. Carl has had some experience of working with an employer (Works 4 You) who has a fencing contract. He understands that targets need to be met and he has risen to the challenge. He has acquired knowledge around health and safety and understands what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use for specific jobs, including how to handle machinery.
Has there been any barriers / obstacles in place which you had to overcome?
Apprentice – Before starting the apprenticeship I used to stay at home and look after our young children (twins) whilst my partner went out to work. The biggest challenge has been to organise childcare to enable me to undertake the apprenticeship. Fortunately, my mother has stepped in and is looking after the children allowing my partner and I to work full time. I have always been pretty confident and keen to learn new skills so motivation hasn’t been an issue for me. Working at Works 4 You on the Future Jobs Fund Programme helped me fit back into the organisation quickly.
How has the apprenticeship affected your life? What has been the best thing about the apprenticeship to date?
The main effect on my life brought about by the apprenticeship is that it has given me something to build upon. I now have a history of work and a qualification in an area I would like to pursue; something I did not have beforehand. I now have experience of erecting fencing and laying patios and driveways and this will stand me in good stead in the future. I have gained a lot of satisfaction seeing the difference made to people’s properties. For example, transforming a damaged and out-dated drive to a new block paved drive gives me a real buzz. The public also seem to appreciate the work we do which also means a lot to me.
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