Ladder for the Black Country: Pathway to a brighter future

Apprentice engineer Warren Todd has his sights set on becoming a qualified welder/fabricator involved in manufacturing quality products.

Andy Street meets
Andy Street meets

Warren, who works for J Harper and Sons in Bloxwich, is the latest apprentice to be profiled by the Ladder for the Black Country team.

Having completed full time education, Warren entered further education to gain qualifications in engineering to enable him to pursue a career within this sector. After completing engineering levels 1 and 2, his dreams of a career in engineering were shattered when he was informed by the college he would be unable to progress any further due to lack of GCSE maths at the level required.

Unsure of what to do next Warren spoke to his JobCentre coach who told him about an engineering Sector-based Work Academy Programme offered by Performance Through People.

The SWAP programme offered a range of training which included support with applying for jobs, interview skills, as well as supporting with securing a placement with an employer along with employer specific training to help equip you with the skills needed by local employers.

It has helped Warren develop new skills and through the information, advice and guidance offered enabled him to look at areas of engineering that valued his existing skills which easily transferred to a new role along with the new skills he had gained. With support from staff he gained a work experience placement with an employer who was looking to recruit. The work placement gave Warren the opportunity to showcase his skills to the employer, something you are not always able to do at interview.

Throughout the work experience Warren displayed dedication, enthusiasm and hard work so much so that he was offered employment with J Harper & Sons, along with an apprenticeship in engineering to help further develop his skills in the sector.

On the Mayor of the West Midlands recent visit to West Bromwich, Warren had the opportunity to meet with Andy Street and was able to demonstrate the skills that he had developed on the SWAP programme.

Warren said: “I have developed my confidence to attempt and gain new skills and to showcase what I can do and have found that is good enough for me to gain employment

"I have enjoyed becoming part of team and working to achieve common goals."

Warren has enrolled onto an apprenticeship and is working towards achieving this, along with his maths level two so he can develop within the workplace, moving onto management roles in the future.

Richard Harper said the SWAP programme had enabled him to gain an employee, who fitted in with the team and had been able to prove himself over a period of time.

Warren wants to let others know that “SWAP programmes are a fantastic opportunity to help you achieve your goals / dreams”

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