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Troubled Terry finds job hope in apprentice scheme

PUBLISHED: 20:45 31 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:09 05 October 2010

Terry... opening the door to opportunity

Terry... opening the door to opportunity

JOBLESS school-leaver Terry Parker has switched from 'troubled teenager' to someone with a decent job and career prospects. The 17-year-old's 'transformation' came when he got a break from hanging around with his mates on the streets of London's East End

By Mike Brooke

JOBLESS school-leaver Terry Parker has switched from 'troubled teenager' to someone 'with a decent job and career prospects.'

The 17-year-old's 'transformation' came when he got a break from hanging around with his mates on the streets of London's East End.

He now has a chance of a career with his local authority after taking part in a prestigious national training conference attended by Government Skills Minister David Lammy.

Terry was at the City Hall conference helping to show the Caretaking Apprenticeship scheme run by Tower Hamlets council.

"The best thing since I joined the scheme is I have kept myself out of trouble," he revealed at the conference.

"The mentors have been a big help and I can go to them if I need advice, even about issues outside work. Hopefully I can now try for a permanent job."

The apprenticeship scheme Terry is on offers training and work opportunities to teenagers on the brink of getting into trouble with the law.

It aims to helps them gain the skills to become caretakers on East End housing estates.

It also provides mentors who help youngsters work through their problems, as well as offering parents advice on how they can support their children.

"I suppose I was like a lot of kids my age," Terry admits.

"I was at a loose end and sometimes used to get into bad situations.

"But the apprenticeship scheme has been really good for me."

Terry went to the conference with two mentors, Slawomir Glanowski and Paul Herbert from Tower Hamlets housing service.

Paul said: "This scheme has helped reduce offending in the East End and also enabled the apprentices to make a contribution to the community. Now the apprentices have all become valuable members of our team."

The skills the youngsters pick up include computers and communications to help them apply for jobs and have the confidence to talk to residents on estates.

The apprenticeship scheme has been running for 18 months by the housing services working with Tower Hamlets Youth Offending team.

mike.brooke@archant.co.uk

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