Apprenticeship proves a hit

Apprentice, John Aldridge.
Apprentice, John Aldridge.
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A man with special needs is showing that apprenticeships can change your life.

John Aldridge from Boldon Colliery has mild learning disabilities but with determination and help from the Home Group’s Inspiring Futures programme, he has now completed an apprenticeship.

John, 37, is hoping his story can inspire others as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which is running throughout this week.

Over the years John had worked in a number of short-term, low paid jobs, but knew he wanted more after being unemployed for three years.

John heard about housing organisation Home Group’s Inspiring Futures scheme to support clients towards a better quality of life and decided he would like to do a traineeship with the group.

Whatever the environment John was placed in he thrived and was soon offered an apprenticeship.

David York, from the facilities team, said: “John has the right attitude, he is keen, enthusiastic and always willing. He was just what we were looking for.”

John said: “Since completing my apprenticeship I am in a much better position than I was.

“There are no major gaps in my CV and I feel much more confident talking to people at interviews.

“I am now looking for a new position and I am getting much more positive feedback. I feel really hopeful about my future.”

Susan Coulson, from Home Group, said: “We pride ourselves on the inclusive culture and wide range of benefits that we offer our colleagues here at Home Group, and our apprenticeship scheme is no exception.”