At The Learning Foundry we’re all about partnership working with referral partners, local services and our employer network to support people looking for their next steps. And it works!
Ross’ story is a brilliant example – he's smashing his Property Maintenance Operative apprenticeship at The Shankly Hotel – but he didn’t always know what his career path would be. He came to us after being referred from the LFC Foundation, where he was getting career support. After meeting our team, we placed him straight on an apprenticeship with one of our brilliant employers - The Shankly Hotel.
We caught up with Ross, Sarah, his line Manager at The Shankly Hotel, Jon Marshall, Employability Coordinator at the LFC Foundation, and Clair, Ross’ mum. Here’s what they had to say about how we worked together to make magic happen!
Ross told us:
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career. I actually started at sixth form when I finished school, but it wasn’t for me. I went to work at McDonalds but after a while I knew I wanted to do something more. I wanted to be learning new skills and getting a qualification in an industry that would give me a career path for life. I always had construction in mind, or something hands-on but I wasn’t sure how to get there.
“I found my apprenticeship thanks to Jon at LFC Foundation, who linked me to The Learning Foundry. I wouldn’t have found this opportunity otherwise. I was going to the LFC Career Club because I wanted to find an apprenticeship and Jon was helping me find opportunities.
“My apprenticeship is a very hands-on role, and no two days are the same. From working on bathrooms and tiling to measuring, cutting and installing shelves – I've learned so many new skills already and I’ve only been here two months. I’m getting specific training on all the different power tools, and I'm able to pick up jobs and complete some of them start to finish.
“If you want to get into a career, I’d say an apprenticeship is a great way to go. I’m going to work, getting a qualification and earning a wage. And if you go to The Learning Foundry, they can help you find the right opportunity for you!”
Sarah, Maintenance Manager and Ross’ line manager at The Shankly Hotel, said:
“Ross is getting more confident every day. I can’t believe he’s only been here two months. He’s picking up jobs and completing them to a brilliant standard. I’m really impressed - I have been from the start. He was brilliant at interview, really smart, ready to learn and make something of his career. The team love having him around and he’s picking up skills quickly.
“I think apprenticeships are brilliant! It’s helped us fill a vacancy in our team so we can keep up with the new works and investment in the hotel. And it’s a chance to give someone an opportunity. I love that we are passing on knowledge and young people don’t need qualifications to get started. They can step into the role and start getting the skills, the qualification and earning a wage.
“Apprenticeships are a great idea for employers. Again, it’s really rewarding to pass on your knowledge and give someone an opportunity to start a career. I was very lucky with the opportunities I’ve had in life and I’m glad we could offer Ross something that benefits him and his career.
"It’s something employers need to be invested in. I take personal responsibility for making sure Ross is getting on ok, that he’s safe and enjoying his time with us. We have a role in changing someone’s destiny! I love that about apprenticeships.”
Jon Marshall, Employability Coordinator at LFC Foundation, told us:
"Ross started coming to our Career Club and was looking for support to find an apprenticeship. I helped him with careers advice and guidance, and we worked together on a career plan and writing his CV.
"It was brilliant to match him with The Learning Foundry who supported him into his apprenticeship. Career Club is all about bringing young people together with providers to help them explore their options.
"I’m a strong believer in partnership working and collaboration. It’s been great to work with The Learning Foundry – this is what the Career Club is all about. When a young person comes to ask for support, our network of community partners rallies around them. It’s beneficial for the young people and the providers across the city. Ross was confident enough to get involved with us and this collaboration has really helped him find something he wants to do."
Ross’ mum, Clair, said:
"Ross is like a completely different person since starting his apprenticeship. Sixth form wasn’t for him, and he was a bit lost. I’m so grateful for the LFC Foundation and the support from John when he needed it most.
"He loves The Learning Foundry and I’ve heard all about it. It’s done wonders for my son. A big thank you to Yaz and the whole team for everything they do!"
Yaz Milne, Stakeholder and Learner Engagement Coordinator, at The Learning Foundry, added:
"This is what partnership working is all about. We engage with stakeholders and referral partners to find the best outcome for each and every learner. It's been fantastic supporting Ross and he's smashing his apprenticeship - it was definitely the right choice for him."
Do you know someone who’s looking for the next steps after school or college? We offer free, impartial careers information, advice and guidance. Get in touch with our friendly team and we’d be happy to help!
Pictured from left to right: Mike, General Manager at The Shankly Hotel, Ross, and Sarah, Maintenance Manager at The Shankly Hotel.