Jack Clarke, 17, left school at 15 to work on the family farm in Lancaster. After his family moved, he tried his hand at practical jobs such as school caretaking and working in a ground maintenance company before starting work as a trainee engineer at Salop Leisure in Shewsbury.
Soon after starting, Salop Leisure management spied potential in Jack and offered him the opportunity to take an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Leisure Operations.
“I don't enjoy class based learning, which is why I decided not to go to College,” Jack says. “With an apprenticeship, I'm gaining hands on experience, qualifications and training as well as earning a wage.”
Jack began his apprenticeship in February 2011 and has now completed his health and safety and first aid certificates as well as manufacturer's product training. He is looking forward to obtaining important gas and electrical qualifications in the future.
“We have a wide variety of repairs coming into the touring caravan workshop and I'm learning all the time. I aspire to be a good engineer and produce work to the highest standards,” Jack says.
Salop Leisure HR administrator Barbara Morris says Jack is one of four apprentices at the company, with the others working in customer service, holiday homes and alongside Jack in touring caravans repairs.
“Apprenticeships provide our staff with the opportunity to gain technical and transferable skills needed for a great start in their careers. It also ensures we have well trained, competent staff to take the business forward. I would encourage all businesses in our industry to consider taking on an apprentice.”
To find out more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector please see Apprenticeships
The event offers much needed support to the Armed Forces as the Ministry of Defence has this week announced 4,200 job cuts in a second round of armed forces redundancies.
The Fair, to be held at Surrey Sports Park, in Guildford, Surrey, will be held on Thursday 8th March 2012, marking the start of SkillsActive’s Change Gear programme.
The Change Gear Programme is designed to offer specific career change support to ensure those leaving the Services are empowered to make informed decisions about the opportunities available to them in the sport, health and fitness, outdoors, playwork, health and beauty, and caravans industries.
Head of programmes Julie Evans explains: “What we are hoping to achieve with Change Gear Employment and Training Fair is to look past the uniform to the person within, recognising not only the skills of trained service men and women, but also the personal qualities that will help each individual succeed. Our sector has massive potential for growth and career development and therefore offers a wealth of opportunity for those entering it.
“The Change Gear Programme, and our Employment and Training Fair, are designed to offer all round support through expert advice, high quality training and additional support for business and finance, to make these career changers the best candidates with access to the best jobs.”
The event provides a unique opportunity for companies to come along and meet potential employees, and raise their profile as a respected employer to the industry. SkillsActive is urging companies to sign up, thereby helping former armed forces personnel to carve a new rewarding and successful career.
Service personnel will have access to specific career change advice as well as the chance to meet with training providers, employers and veterans who have made the transition from Forces-life into the sector. This will enable them to make informed decisions about their future.
As well as the Employment and Training Fair the Change Gear programme includes:
If you would like to know more about Change Gear or sign-up for the Employment and Training Fair please go to www.skillsactive.com/changegear
SkillsActive works with employers to ensure Apprenticeships across our sector deliver the knowledge and skills their business needs.