A 17-YEAR-old trainee bricklayer has spoken of his pride at the life-changing steps he has made towards a professional career after an exam setback saw him turn to alcohol.
Ciaran Lloyd Fleming, from Bradford, admits he made bad choices after failing his GCSEs, despite being predicted Grade A*s.
He had been expected to follow a more conventional route into education, but after the shock of results day, instead found solace in alcohol.
However, the country going into lockdown proved positive for Ciaran as he spent more time at home with family prompting his outlook on life to shift.
After taking on a volunteering role working on the garden of his future manager at Eco Build, Ciaran decided to embrace the work experience it offered and it helped him to turn a corner.
He then decided to start a traineeship programme and was referred to national training provider Qube Learning.
Shortly after while working on his soon-to-be boss’s garden, Ciaran was made aware of a possible job opportunity as a brick layer. Within 48 hours, he was starting a new role as a trainee and has now progressed onto an apprenticeship.
His employer said: “I knew Ciaran was a grafter, so I was happy he used the initiative to put himself forward. Doing manual labour and seeing the end results of what Ciaran can do has given him pride and realisation that he is not a failure.”
Ciaran said: “There have been many obstacles because I did not pass my GCSEs. But, after a few bumps, I found my way and couldn’t be happier with the choices I have made.
“I now articulate my feelings better and can communicate with people well as I finally see myself as an equal to anyone I meet.
“My boss and I have a great relationship, he tells me all the time that I am doing great and will achieve my goal to be a professional in the trade.
“Recently passing my Level 1 maths and English to enrol on an apprenticeship programme, I continue to surprise myself with what I am capable of. I sat down every night for a month and revised to be able pass this assessment and I did! Qube Learning and my employer have supported me, and I would recommend a traineeship to anyone.”
Qube Learning skills tutor, Amanda Belk, said: “Working with Ciaran has been incredible, he has grown so much since joining Eco Build and I have seen him really come on leaps and bounds. His personal journey and courage really are something to celebrate, and he is great example of what it is to keep going despite encountering setbacks along the way. We are excited to see what lies ahead for him and hope the future is bright.”
In Bradford, Qube works through the city centre Kick Start centre, offering access to traineeships and apprentices for young people.