Foundation laid for better future

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A County Durham man is laying the foundations for a new career thanks to his local housing association.

John Charlton, 20, from Houghton-le-Spring has secured a bricklaying apprenticeship with specialist building contractor MGM following advice and support from Derwentside Homes Brighter Futures programme.

John joined the scheme as he looked to make a positive change in his life.  As part of his new role John gains practical work experience as well as studying part time at college.

John said:  “I am so pleased that I have managed to get the apprenticeship with MGM.  They are a great local company and have made me feel really welcome.  I want to go on and build a great career for myself and want to thank the team at Derwentside Homes for getting me this far.”

The Brighter Future project was launched in May 2012 and since then has supported more than 550 people by offering information, advice and guidance to help them on their journey into work.

This includes supporting them to increase their skills and knowledge; helping them engage in education, training, voluntary work, improving their health and well-being and increasing their confidence and self-esteem.

MGM director Gary Dillon said:  “We interviewed a range of candidates for the role and John really stood out.  He was confident, had good interview skills and gave a great first impression.  There is no doubt that the Brighter Futures Scheme put him in a great position to be successful with us.”

Michelle Graham, Employment Initiatives Officer at Derwentside Homes said:  “John’s is another success story for the Brighter Future’s project and our work with NEP’s Future Sparks Programme.  This partnership helps create opportunities for local people with employers in the area through the NEP contract framework.”