Johnny Durran, White Goods Repairs
“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.”
Mark Richards, Bricklayer
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.
Lisa Manley, Contact Centre Advisor
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.”
Sherri, Work Experience
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cath Burns Employment, Skills and Business Support Manager, Chorley Council
Constructing the Future provided invaluable advice and guidance to support Preston, South Ribble and Chorley Councils to use their powers through the planning system to create employment and skills outcomes. They are now actively engaged in ensuring that these outcomes are achieved
Kayleigh Rothery, Apprentice
This apprenticeship has been more than just a job for me. I feel that it has provided me with opportunities and challenges that I never thought I would be able to complete.
When starting my apprenticeship, I was really shy, I was always fed up with the way my life was, and I had absolutely no confidence. Now, six/seven months into my apprenticeship and I am a lot more confident than I ever thought I could be, I can speak to new people and not get shy, and I love the way my life is. Through my apprenticeship, I have been provided with many opportunities, I have passed my CSCS health and safety test, I have passed my theory test, I have progressed my job role into helping other colleagues with their work, and I am getting ready to sit my practical driving test at the end of December this year. None of this would have been possible without my apprenticeship and the support I have received from the staff at Calico
Paul Woby, Regional Trainee Coordinator, Lovell
Calico Enterprise has proven very useful in helping us to find the best solution to suit our needs, to find the best teams to deliver labour on shorter duration schemes, or in more remote areas. The process is user friendly – officers answer our recruitment brief by finding the appropriate apprentice according to our skills and demographic requirements.