Careers - A Calico Group Service

When it comes to your career, we know you need honest, impartial advice.

Calico Careers is your number one choice for quality skills and training opportunities across East Lancashire.

We’ve helped hundreds of people into work, training or apprenticeships and our qualified careers advisors are absolutely committed to helping you realise your potential too.

We can help you:

  • Identify your key skills and top strengths
  • Explore training and development options
  • Explain your employment opportunities
  • Brush up your CV and interview skills
  • Search for jobs and plan your next steps.

Get in touch!

E-mail: or
Call: 07792 215643 or 01524 428016
Or call in to: Calico, Centenary Court, Croft Street, Burnley, BB11 2ED

We’re open every Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except Bank Holidays).

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Case studies

We have had many success stories over the years. Here are just a few:


Sherri, a seventeen year old from Colne, has been on work experience in reception at The Calico Group Head Office for three months, as part of a traineeship within Calico Careers. Her story is one that many may face, but her decisions and hard work have ultimately changed her life.

“In September 2014 I started studying Health and Social Care Level 2, at Nelson and Colne College. I thought this was my only option when leaving school as I had not researched any other possibilities.

“Within a week of being at college I absolutely hated it, I knew it wasn’t the right choice for me, but I didn’t think I had another option. I started slacking and my work wasn’t meeting the requirements, but I knew that I could do it as I left school with eleven GCSEs.

“After the Christmas break, following several warnings, I was signed off from college due to a poor attitude and attendance issues. For a few months I contemplated my options but began a rapid downward spiral.

“My parents were encouraging me to do something with my life; I was doing nothing day in, day out. In April 2015 I found The Calico Group after seeing a poster advertising their traineeships. I immediately phoned up and arranged an appointment with Natalie Ward, the Traineeship Administrator.

“After doing several weeks of work experience on reception, I have just been employed as an apprentice for Property Services dealing with repairs at Calico.

“In three short months I have gone from sitting at home watching day time television, to being in full time employment, earning money as I develop my career.

“The traineeship scheme has changed my life; I am bettering myself and developing my skills every single day. The Calico Group has welcomed me into the team with open arms and every single person here is determined for me to succeed.

“I recommend this scheme to everyone I see, it helped me to stop being so lazy and get on with my career. I can’t thank The Calico Group enough for the opportunity they have given me, and my advice to other young people is to grab everything that comes your way with both hands.

“I’m proud to say to everyone that doubted me, “I told you so” and if you are in the position I was in please consider this route, what do you have to lose?”

The traineeship programme is a partnership between The Calico Group Ltd, Nelson and Colne College and The Skills Funding Agency.

For further information on how the traineeship programme can help you, contact


Lisa Manley, aged 45, from Burnley, had been unemployed for six months when an unlikely visitor came to her property during a routine repair and she broke down in tears to him. Now four months on Lisa shares her story.

“I had been out of work for six months and was constantly feeling very low, when Steve Hobman a repair man at Calico came to my property to carry out some work, and I completely broke down to him.

“After our emotional encounter he very kindly referred me to Calico Careers and arranged for someone to call me, which was over and above his job and I am extremely thankful to him.

“Following a phone call with Calico Careers I was given an appointment the same week with Tony Lowe the Careers Advisor. Walking into his office I was a little down trodden and a very emotional person, yet I came out feeling a little bit better.

“After my second visit I realised that there was help, advice and understanding out there, and I was going to be ok.

“By my third visit on Tony’s advice, I had stopped walking down back streets to avoid people and had a clear understanding of what employers were looking for.

“By my fifth week I had secured two interviews in one day, all with the advice, knowledge and confidence reinstalled in me by Tony.

“After being offered both vacancies I decided to accept the role of a Contact Centre Advisor within The Calico Group at Centenary Court.

“I now once again have a purpose in life, and can walk down the street with my head held high.

“All I can say is thank you for giving me my life back and anyone who finds themselves in the same or similar situation as I was please get in touch with Calico Careers, they can change your life.”


Having been unemployed for the last three years and really keen to get back into work, Mark Richards volunteered to spend a week helping out with the apprentices on the 2016 National Apprenticeship Week
initiative, where a void property was refurbished by a group of 15 apprentices from across The Calico Group.

The two bedroom property underwent a makeover which saw the apprentices, including Mark, refitting and securing the bathroom, repairing floorboards, rehanging doors, and carrying out electrical safety checks. The decorating apprentices were tasked with completing all five rooms in the house, and the stairs, landing and bedroom were also carpeted by Ring Stones.

During the week on site, Mark really shone with his positive attitude and enthusiasm. He exceeded expectations, often working longer than required and always willing to carry out extra tasks. Mark has previously attained his Levels 1, 2 and 3 Diplomas in Bricklaying, and expressed how keen he was to work in the construction industry, and with Ring Stones in particular.

Mark jumped at the opportunity to carry out some work experience on a trial run and spent three weeks on the new Pomfret Street and Blannel Street development. This led to Mark’s successful employment in the role of Trainee Bricklayer/Labourer and, now in his third month, he meets each day with the same enthusiasm and positivity demonstrated during his week of volunteering.

Mark is now undertaking his NVQ Level 3 in Bricklaying.


Johnny Durrant, aged 19, from Blackpool

“I found the Calico Traineeship programme after approaching the Connections Young People Service in Blackpool. I wanted to find a course that would help and support me into employment whilst providing me with the support to complete my maths and English qualifications.

“I have learnt a lot of new skills in my work placement, from fault finding, problem solving, practical repair skills and working as part of a team. By developing my work ethic and culture I now feel more comfortable when applying for jobs.

“I wanted a placement where I would be working in a hands on environment which would allow me to gain new skills. I was very happy when Calico Careers placed me in the white goods department within the Furniture Matters company.

“Through my voluntary placement I was able to progress into an apprenticeship. Thanks to my work experience with the Traineeship programme I was able to gain the necessary skills in white goods repair to achieve a paid job role. I am very grateful for the support I received from the careers team at Calico, and feel that their support and training prepared me for working life and the interview support was one of the main factors that helped me to secure my apprenticeship, and progress from volunteer to a full time staff member.”

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Calico works with local colleges to provide modern apprenticeship programmes to support young people to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

What is available?

Our modern apprentices are aged between 16-25 years of age and we offer opportunities in: plumbing; electrical work; joinery; plastering; painting and decorating; and housing and business administration.

Why undertake an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship with Calico provides a supported self-learning programme, coupled with hands-on experience, in order to gain a nationally recognised qualification, all whilst in receipt of a monthly salary.

How can I apply?

Our trade apprenticeships are run through Constructing The Future.

Please note: we are not able to offer the full range of apprenticeships each year, as we have to align our opportunities with business requirements.

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Constructing the Future - A Calico Group Service

Constructing the Future (CtF) was established in July 2010 by Lancashire Housing Partnership, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and CITB to develop careers in the construction sector.

Our vision is to educate, inspire, and support people to develop careers in the construction sector and, as a result of the support from the construction sector, over 100 apprenticeships have been created across the North West since our 2010 launch.

Our work to help get local people into employment through apprenticeship placements has been highlighted by the National Housing Federation.

Our objectives are to:

  • Ensure apprenticeships provide a high quality experience for people
  • Achieve sustainable employment outcomes
  • Maximise procurement and investment in the creation of apprenticeship opportunities
  • Promote construction trades as high quality employment opportunities

In addition to our delivery partners, we also have strategic partners that are important to the creation of apprenticeship opportunities. These include CITB, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, Lancashire Housing Partnership, and further education colleges.

Our offer

  • All individuals wishing to become an apprentice will undergo a thorough screening and assessment process.
  • Successful applicants will be directly employed by CtF and will be paid national minimum wage rates.
  • All apprentices will undergo a comprehensive health and safety induction.
  • All CtF apprentices will attend college on day release.
  • CtF will be responsible for arranging, managing and paying for all training related to the achievement of the apprenticeship.
  • Each apprentice will have a nominated CITB CSkills Training Coordinator, who will be responsible for reviewing their progress.
  • CtF will place the apprentice with local contractors to ensure they successfully complete their apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices achieving their Level 2 have the opportunity to progress to Level 3.

Benefits for the contractor

  • Contractors supporting the placement of CtF apprentices will contribute towards meeting any employment KPIs, which they are obliged to meet through Lancashire Housing Partnership and Local Authority procurement frameworks.
  • As the apprentice is employed by CtF, not the host contractor, all employment responsibilities for the apprentice remain with CtF.
  • No contractor commitment to guaranteeing continuity of employment after the placement has finished.
  • Contractors are only charged a weekly fee for hosting the apprentice.  No further costs are incurred.
  • Contractors are supporting the recruitment of apprentices, thereby ensuring a skilled and qualified workforce is able to meet future skills requirements.

Benefits for the apprentice

  • Access to high quality training and support.
  • Opportunity to work with a wide range of different contractors, providing a much broader experience.
  • Risk of not being able to complete their apprenticeship drastically reduced.
  • Achievement and success rates of CtF apprentices are above local, regional and national averages.

For more information, contact or ring 01282 686310.

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Volunteering opportunities

We can provide a range of volunteering opportunities with the following services:

  • Calico Careers
  • Elizabeth Street Project
  • Floating Support

For more information about volunteering with Calico, email

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Changing Futures – Building Better Opportunities

Calico is a delivery partner in the Changing Futures project in Lancashire.

Changing Futures is part of the nationwide Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in England.

The Changing Futures project is focussed on supporting people facing multiple and complex barriers to employment. All participants are unemployed or economically inactive and are at high risk of social exclusion, such as people from BAME communities, people with physical or mental health problems and people with learning difficulties.

Through the Changing Futures project, our partners work with each participant as an individual. Our Transformational Coaches help each participant to understand their own abilities, skills and interests to identify ways to help address their multiple barriers to economic activity.

Within three years, the Changing Futures partnership aims to support 1000 people over the age of 15 to overcome multiple and complex barriers and move closer to employment, education or training. We are proud to be part this specialist partnership of social enterprises and community organisations whose work is transforming lives across Lancashire.

Our partnership’s most recent quarterly results show that Changing Futures has already supported 867 people with multiple and complex barriers to work. As a direct result of the support received from this project, 85 people have overcome the challenges they were facing and are now employed, self-employed or in training.

For more information about the Changing Futures, project please contact:

Samantha Warren, Transformational Coach

Call: 07792 215643