Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

Ipswich: Former apprentice reveals how working helped him rebuild his life after twice beating cancer

06:00 04 September 2014

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

A cancer survivor who had given up on life after failing to secure a job at the end of his treatment has had his life transformed thanks to an apprenticeship with Realise Futures.

shares
At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

And this week Kristen Carden has backed a new campaign to create 5,000 apprenticeships in Suffolk over the next five years, helping address the skills shortage in the county.

“I have learnt a lot of new skills, I completed my apprenticeship last year and am now a supervisor in the workshop. I am currently doing a management course and I have completed a fork lift truck and cherry boom course,” said the 25-year-old. “Everyday I am learning something new.”

Kristen was forced to drop out of college at 17 because of the intense treatment he was undergoing for testicular cancer. The teenager fully recovered from the illness but faced another blow two years later when he was diagnosed with sarcoma.

After his second bout of treatment, Kristen, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, was desperate to rebuild his life but could not afford to resume his mechanics course at college and was unable to find a job.

At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.At work with former apprentice Kristen Carden, who started at Realise Futures during the 100 apprentices in 100 days campaign four years ago.

Then in 2010 he was offered a job with Realise Futures at the Whitehouse site in Lovetofts Drive through our 100 in 100 apprentice campaign.

“Working here has made me more confident, and given me independence. It has given me an opportunity to prove myself,” said Kristen.

“This has really changed my life; I am now in my own place, have got a new car and a stable job. Who knows, I might even be the boss of the whole workshop one day.”

Urging other teenagers to follow in his footsteps, he added: “Doing an apprenticeship is like a short cut really, you are learning as you go but also getting your qualifications. The money isn’t great to start with, I think it was about £400 a month, but you wouldn’t get anything if you went to college and it does increase.

“I am qualified now and on my way to NVQ Level 3. I had never really looked into this as a career but I am not too bad at it now, I think I have found my talent.”

Realise Futures is a social enterprise and offers opportunities to vulnerable adults and those with learning disabilities.

“I think it has been quite educational working with some of the more vulnerable people here,” said Kristen. “It is really rewarding when you work with them and see their confidence grow and help them develop their social skills.”

Lee Caraccio, business development manager, said: “Taking on apprentices gives you stability. You get the youngsters coming through and they are learning the skills they need from us and we can also learn from them, they pick up the new technology quicker than we do and they can share that knowledge.

“Apprentices bring a real boost to the business, we know we can rely on them.”

shares

2 comments

  • We could not be prouder of Kristen! He deserved this and has worked so hard so get to where he is! He is a true inspiration and whenever i think i have it tough - I just think if he can do it with a smile - i can too!!! Well done Kristen!!!

    Report this comment

    natasha laisure

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

  • I'm glad it's worked out or him. However, I have overheard two loud conversations this week where people were boasting about using apprentices to do the dirty work as they are cheaper and harder working than temps and will do anything they are asked regardless of job descriptions. Apprenticeships need to be monitored independently

    Report this comment

    jane

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Bury St Edmunds

The County Court is already handling half of region’s applications from Brighton to Norwich.

Tom Fleet who is getting a Suffolk police award for saving a woman who tried to jump off a bridge. Pictured here with girlfriend Peggy-May Mutton.

A passerby who risked his own life to prevent a woman jumping off a bridge onto traffic below will be honoured tomorrow for his act of bravery.

The aftermath of the blaze in Reydon

These are the photos of the aftermath of a devastating fire that ripped through two houses in Reydon last night.

The 'mushroom' shaped shelter for teenagers which has had its roof ripped off in an act of vandalism.

A seating area near a Bury St Edmunds playground has been vandalised, leading to calls for young people to take ownership of the area.

Charles Kennedy (left) talks with  Andy Thwaites during the visit to Treetops in Colchester in 2005. PIC RICHARD SNASDELL

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has died suddenly at home at the age of 55, his family have said.

From The Archives East

Pool marathon at Kings Head in Hadleigh

May 1985

More events featured in photographs have been remembered by our readers

Artist's impression of 'Jubilee Place' and Jubilee Walk.

New shops, cafes and restaurants could be created in a bid to improve Haverhill town centre, according to proposals for the project.

An 
Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Three train operators are in the running for the new East Anglia rail franchise.

Concerns about impact pub will have on Great Eastern Square

A Government-appointed planning inspector is being asked to decide a row over the size of a proposed new £2.6million JD Wetherspoon pub in Felixstowe town centre.

Cleaner must pay £1,500

Ipswich Crown Court has heard a crooked cleaner made £46,000 by stealing from her clients, including some who were elderly and vulnerable.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages