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Posted on 21 July 2021

Shared Apprenticeship Service – Andrew Wilson case study

After several years of unemployment and numerous life-changing events, Andrew was at rock bottom. His poor mental health was compounded by isolation, financial difficulty, loss of loved ones and a late diagnosis of Asperger’s.

Without qualifications, Andrew was unsure how he could move forward until he came to Calico Enterprise and received the support he needed to thrive.

After leaving school, I went to college for a year before leaving to work with my Dad. I was doing work I enjoyed alongside my dad who understood me. I’ve always known I was a bit different to other people, but it never occurred to me to find out more.

Sadly, when my dad passed away in 2007, I was left totally alone. After a while, the company I worked for went into administration; leaving me without a job for the first time. I had no support and was living alone in my Dad’s house. For three years I lived on savings but inevitably, the money ran out and I knew I had to do something.

I registered with the jobcentre and, because I didn’t have any qualifications, they advised me to undertake a warehousing course. This got me a forklift driving qualification which was a great start.

My mental health was at an all-time low after everything I had been through with losing Dad and having been so isolated for so long. My self-esteem was zero, I was alone and thoroughly depressed. I had no self-belief and I felt I had no future. Things just seemed to get so much worse.

To top things off I was diagnosed with cancer and had to have chemotherapy.

It was an awful time, but it gave me chance to think about my life. I went through the diagnosis process for Autism. I was eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s which gave me a lot of answers as to why I was the way I was. My brain just functions slightly differently from other people’s. It helped me to understand who I am.

Through all of this, I was supported by a psychologist who referred me for some employability support. It was through this support that I met Katie from Calico Enterprise who did some work with me. Working with Calico Enterprise and their partners at Procure Plus, I was able to do my CSCS card and Level 1 in health and safety. It was then that I could finally apply for a role that I really wanted to do, and I found out that Calico Enterprise was recruiting apprentices in my area.

Calico Enterprise provides on-site apprenticeships through their shared apprenticeship service. The role I wanted to apply for was an apprenticeship in Joinery working on a Mulbury Homes site. I hadn’t realised that I could be an apprentice at my age but when I met Joanne, she gave me all the motivation and facts, helping me to see what my future could look like.

I applied and got the job! Now, I am employed through Calico’s shared apprenticeship service (Constructing the Future) and work on-site with Mulbury Homes and continue to work on getting my qualification. Joanne, their Apprenticeship Officer, stays in contact with me to offer me support and guidance. I never feel on my own now. I can speak to her about anything and I know she will coach me, help my confidence, and give me the help that I need. She understands about my Asperger’s but knows that it doesn’t define me or stop me from being a great employee. I am appreciated for the work I do, and I am always learning new things on site.

My life has changed for the better. What I like most about my journey is how those who supported me worked together to provide the best support. I now know that I have a solid future. I can see what I have overcome and feel Joanne and others have empowered me to do it.

They didn’t do it for me, but they helped me understand that I was capable given the correct care. As a result, I am flourishing in my apprenticeship with the support of Calico Enterprise and the staff at Mulbury Homes. For the first time in years, I feel like I have a great future!

Andrew is a fantastic person and just needed guidance and someone to believe in him. We support apprentices through empowerment, training, encouragement, motivation and a fundamental belief that everyone has a place and is a valuable potential employee in the making.

At Calico Enterprise, we support those furthest from the job market by working alongside participants throughout their journey. We help them when they stumble or falter and are there to celebrate their successes when they achieve their goals. We are extremely proud of Andrew.

Joanne Hoyle – Shared Apprenticeship Service, Apprenticeship Officer. 


We must invest in the future of construction and apprentices are key to the growth of the industry. Apprentices are eager and find it easier to understand the mindset of your business. Andrew has proven he can overcome the difficulties he has faced over the years and is a valued team member. Andrew is hard working, enthusiastic and very keen to learn new skills.

We are extremely proud of the progress Andrew has made and hope he continues to grow in both confidence and ability.

Glyn Fazackerley – Mulbury, Construction Director 

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Tel: 01282 686516


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