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Case studies

Case studies


Leanne, Apprentice Plumber

When Leanne joined Nottingham City Homes she had been through a number of jobs that offered no career progression. She said: “I had moved from pillar to post for much of my life – working dead-end jobs and having Type 1 diabetes that affects my day-to-day life. I finally found my feet and realised it was time to change. That’s when I applied for the apprenticeship at Nottingham City Homes.”

Leanne’s soon settled into her apprenticeship, and was even named Nottingham City Homes’ Apprentice of the Year in 2016. Her success gave Leanne the confidence to become co-leader of a group of apprentices undertaking a national competition called the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. This further increased her confidence and leadership skills.

Leanne said: “I’ve given talks in schools, businesses and jobs fairs, even providing interview skills days and CV advice, which I never thought I’d be able to do, fearing the stress would affect my diabetes. As a great start to my career, my apprenticeship will help me progress in my goals – and I hope I can use the experience to empower others to overcome and barriers they may face.”

Leanne’s apprenticeship has put her in control of her own career. She is earning money to support herself, at the same time learning valuable skills in a trade that will set her up for life. 

National Apprentice of the Year 2018 finalist Matt Gustard

Matt, Apprentice Plumber

When Matt decided to change career, an apprenticeship seemed an ideal option. But as he was older than most apprentices, he really wasn’t sure that anyone would take him on.

Matt said: “I started my apprenticeship with Nottingham City Homes (NCH) at 35. If I am totally honest I never thought I had a chance of getting an apprenticeship due to my age. I didn't think a company would be willing to take a chance on me. However I am very happy to say I was wrong, in fact my age was seen as a positive rather than a negative.”

Last year Matt co-led a team of NCH apprentices to the finals of The Brathay Apprentice Challenge. As part of this challenge he project managed the renovation of a historic building for a local charity, as well as helping local community organisation, Bulwell Forest Gardens, to repair their garden furniture and tidy up their gardens after they were hit by vandals.

Matt believes that joining NCH as an apprentice is one of the best decisions he has ever made. He said: “I am now working for a community-based company, which gives me hands on support and guidance whenever I need it. I work alongside experienced trades-people every day, improving my knowledge and skills as well as learning new ones.”

His hard work and resulting success was further been demonstrated by his winning Regional Apprentice of the Year 2017 and receiving a 'highly commended' at the national awards. He’s excited about the future and plans to build on what he has already achieved.

Matt said: “The apprenticeship has given me the chance to build a new career as well as a new life for myself and for this I will be eternally grateful to NCH. The future is an exciting prospect. I have now started my level 3 NVQ in Plumbing and Heating and I hope to continue further in higher education and eventually start a degree level qualification. I am at the start of an exciting chapter in my life and I am full of enthusiasm for where my apprenticeship might lead me.”

Alec Huckle

Alec, Business Administration Apprentice

Alec had been out of work for three years when he joined Nottingham City Homes as a Business Administration Apprentice.

He was keen to work, but had faced a number of challenges including depression, and being forced to abandon his accounting studies when his funding was cut. Alec says: “I was doing the grind on Job Seekers Allowance, receiving no support in interview skills or CV-writing, when I saw the apprenticeship at Nottingham City Homes. I knew it was a way I could enter the career I wanted to follow, and I was lucky enough to be successful in my application.”

After being out of work for a while, Alec wasn’t sure at first whether he was ready for the level of responsibility he was given. However he was helped and supported and soon felt part of the ‘family’ in his department. Being made to feel so welcome gave Alec the confidence to ask questions and make mistakes.

The support he received from Nottingham City Homes even led Alec to leave his comfort zone and join the Brathay Apprentice Challenge team. This helped him develop his skills further by taking responsibility for the financial side of the project. 

Alec said: “Without this apprenticeship I would still be struggling to find a job without recent work experience. I’ve become more confident in the workplace and in myself.”

Alec completed his apprenticeship and now works in the Nottingham City Homes Finance Team. Here he continues to develop his skills and gain valuable experience. Alec is keen to develop his career, and continue to advance within the finance sector.