We recently caught up with Thomas, who joined Helm student on the Pathway project in August 2015. He had up to this time very poor attendance at school and he had no motivation or enthusiasm to learn or gain qualifications there. In his own words he preferred to have a muck about when he did attend.

Thomas was a chatty, cheeky chap but very likeable. Once he settled in, got to know the staff and realised he just a year with us at Helm he decided to knuckle down and get on with the work he chose, completing gaps in his education. He gained ICT and Communications level 4 and Numeracy level 5.


He decided he would also quite like to have a day up at the Helm training garage to see if he would like it. Malcolm collected him and took him up there and Thomas then realised this was something he was really interested in and that he would like to learn more. He continued to attend for two days a week till his school leaving date. Malcolm says that he was keen to learn and did very well at the Garage.

Thomas had by this point worked hard to show that he had commitment and was able to turn up (usually on time), be reliable, and work safely as part of a team. He then progressed with Helm to a place on our Employability Fund programme and continued to go to the garage full time as a work placement, building up a portfolio of his experience, and then progressed to an external work placement at Maitland Auto Centre, one of our employer partners. Thomas stayed there and worked hard in his work placement and a few months later he was offered an apprenticeship with them and he accepted. He is now in his second year of his apprenticeship.

Thomas went from having no motivation and no clear vision what he wanted to do with his future to a mechanic apprentice position. He is a proud father now and able to provide for his family.

 It was a real pleasure to work with him and see him progress, we wish him all future success and our thanks to Thomas for allowing us to use these pictures.