March 4, 2019

How an apprenticeship helped get Stuart on a career path

Leaving school aged 15 can feel like you are out at sea without a paddle. That’s where Stuart found himself 4 years ago.

After leaving school with no formal qualifications, Stuart found it hard to make a career for himself and, aged 19, didn’t feel like he had the right experience to take the next step. With help from Lewis from the New Leaf team at Cheshire West and Chester Council, Stuart began to see his own potential.

When Stuart first joined New Leaf, he was focused on starting a career in the army. Lewis would go with Stuart to the army careers office and even referred him to the gym to improve his fitness, boost his social skills and increase his confidence. Over time it transpired that, due to Stuart’s health, the army wouldn’t be the best career path for him.

“As his mentor, it was imperative to motivate him to look at other career paths that he could pursue.” said Lewis, Stuart’s mentor. “It was evident he was passionate about I.T. and has an incredible skill to build computers and diagnose issues with them.”

Lewis supported Stuart with his CV and job search and Stuart was able to identify several apprenticeships that he found interesting, including one at Cheshire College for an electrical engineer apprenticeship with Scottish Power. Although Stuart was interested in this opportunity, nerves and self-doubt started to creep in. In the past, this might have been enough to make Stuart quit, however, he had Lewis by his side.

They secured meeting with the college to remove any of Stuart’s concerns and he was able to not only attend an interview for the apprenticeship but was offered a place on the course.

“I can’t believe I managed to secure a place on the Scottish Power apprenticeship programme. It is all thanks to the confidence and belief that Lewis, my mentor, showed in me that I was able to better myself.” Said Stuart, “I am excited to work hard on my apprenticeship and, hopefully, will progress on to the further level.”

Lewis said, “Stuart is a testament to what you can do with perseverance and motivation leaving school with no GCSEs and having no employment history”

Don’t let your past experiences get in the way of your future success. If, like Stuart, you don’t know where to turn after leaving school without any qualifications, get in touch.

T: 01925 452131


New Leaf is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.

New Leaf Lottery Funded