Luke joined the Talent Match programme on the 5th January 2016 after serving two years in prison. He was signposted to Talent Match through his probation service so we could offer him support through his transition from custody back into employment.
I first met Luke and his partner with my manager, we had both noticed how determined Luke seemed to turn his life around after his time in prison for drug dealing. Luke has two young children who he adores and it was plain to see they were the motivating factor in him wanting to secure a bright future for his family.
During our first meetings Luke was very upbeat and already had an idea of the area he wanted to work. This area was working on the rail tracks and he had been told there was the possibility of employment with a family friend if he could get his Personal Track Safety and Sentinel card. When we first started looking into this it quickly became apparent that this could be a very difficult career to get involved with. To get your personal track safety card and your Sentinel card which are both essential for working in the industry, you had to be sponsored by a rail company to do the training. This is obviously a Catch-22 situation but while we were looking for solutions I had received an email from Carla Shelton letting us know that there would be an introduction session into rail safety with Auctus Training Solutions.
Once I had discussed this opportunity with Luke he was over the moon and determined to attend. When the session rolled around we attended it together and the package of training seemed excellent. There were however a few stipulations, to be signed up for the training there would be a drug and alcohol test where you would need to be drug-free for a minimum of three months before the test. After the induction I discussed this with Luke and he assured me that he would be available for the next test date which was the following Monday. We signed Luke up to the programme, which was a considerable investment of £1450 by Talent Match, then awaited the drug and alcohol test results. Luke of course, true to his word, passed with flying colours which enabled him to start the training the following week.
From the get go Luke excelled on his training, he completed one of the initial tests in one of the quickest times the instructor had ever seen while still receiving full marks. His ambition and aptitude continued throughout the three-week training course and he completed the programme gaining Personal Track Safety (PTS), AC/DCCR + 10 day track induction, Emergency First Aid, Fire Awareness, Manual Handling, Behaviour Based Safety, OLEC1, Small Tools, Asbestos Awareness, Environmental awareness and GWEP induction in one fell swoop.
Now Luke had completed the training he began to look for employment opportunities. Luke had been working on his CV and had updated it with all his new qualifications. We had sourced three positions which Luke could apply for. Between then and the next time I saw Luke I had a phone call from Carla Shelton updating me with feedback from the training programme Luke had completed, she told me that Rose, part of Auctus management team, had told her that Luke had been a standout member of the training and that they would be happy to help him secure employment in any way they could. She also said if he did not find employment soon they would be glad to offer him an apprenticeship, despite him already being 25, because they had seen so much potential.
I passed this positive feedback onto Luke which he appreciated greatly and then he told me his own good news, he had gained employment with McGinley’s Recruitment Solutions, securing himself three shifts per week working on the rail tracks. This had been Luke’s ambition from the beginning and with Talent Match’s help and our investment in him he achieved this goal within three months.
Luke is still working with McGinley’s doing between three and five shifts per week and when I last spoke to him he told me “I’m loving it, it’s the best decision I ever made.”
Luke is a great example of the difference Talent Match can make to individuals. He is now set on a career path that can enable him to look after his family for life and there are incredible opportunities for promotions so Luke’s future looks very bright indeed.