Danny’s a bit nervous about doing an interview, he’s never done anything like this before, but standing beside him are fellow apprentice Warise (who’s a bit of an old hand here now by his own account) and James, one of the gaffers here on site and half of Jackson Contracting Services, the firm who are, once again, blowing me away with their positivity and friendliness, and the quality of their rendering!
Nearby is Adam, the other half of JCS, who took James on when he was younger. He’s also here supporting Danny as he meets me and settles into talking into a mobile phone to tell me his story. In case you haven’t guessed, this blog post is all about support because without it, young lads like Danny (and James and Warise) wouldn’t be here talking to me, they also wouldn’t have the skills, confidence and potential they have now, to build better lives for themselves.
I tell Danny that I’ll start recording and let him speak, giving him a chance to tell his story in his own words and gentle Nottingham accent, and off he goes, looking like someone who’s done this before, even though I know he hasn’t. [Ed’s note, after the recording we have a chat about job interviews and he realises that if he’s able to talk to me, he’s going to have the confidence to talk to a future employer. It’s a win-win!]
“Hi I’m Danny, the new apprentice at JCS. James and Adam have given me an opportunity to become a plasterer. I’m grateful, for everything they’ve done for me, and for teaching me some new skills. Life would have been really difficult for me, I’ve been struggling to get a job from since I left school.
“James gave me an opportunity and Warise put in a good word for me and now I’m learning new skills and going to college too.”
We’re all feeling a bit more relaxed now and the banter between the lads is flowing. ‘That’s really good mate’ says James smiling, ‘you thought you couldn’t do it!’.
So I ask Danny how he found out about this opportunity and he goes on; “I was looking on websites and I went to Futures in town, on Maid Marian Way, and they suggested Nottingham Jobs so I had a look. Jag rang me and then I found James who offered me a trial, so I did that and I’m here today aren’t I? I passed my test! I’m on a two year apprenticeship now and then I’ll be a qualified plasterer, I’m really looking forward to it! My dad was a plasterer and a renderer so I’d like to follow the family tradition in plastering.”
I finish off what’s been a really enjoyable little interview, which Danny has taken in his stride I may add, by asking him about the future. “After I’ve done my apprenticeship I’ll probably be looking at doing some plastering work but also doing some property development, buying houses, doing them up, selling them, make a bit of money, buy and sell, buy and sell, make money for myself, make a living.”
We’re done, but James chips in suggesting that Danny goes a bit further; ‘what about thanking your misses for helping you out?’ he asks with a grin. Danny’s not phased, it just shows me how well they all get along as a team of lads; “Yeah, thank you Leah for giving me the confidence to go and look for a job. That’s all you want isn’t it, have we got it covered?”
Speak to the Nottingham Jobs team on 0115 876 4508 (you may also get to have a chat with Jag) or register at www.nottinghamjobs.com