Rain

Rain

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

Paul Heiney filming for Secret Rivers in his Candaian-style canoe that has been stolen

Broadcaster Paul Heiney has made an appeal for thieves who stole one of his favourite boats from a Suffolk harbour to have a conscience and return it.

Woman arrested over Leiston stabbings

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two men in Leiston yesterday.

Trudi Nicholls of Fork Rent

With almost 30 years’ business experience in Suffolk, Trudi Nicholls comes across as a strong, confident businesswoman.

Stage 5 of the Womens Tour passes through Onehouse on their way to Bury St Edmunds last year

Schoolchildren will also be involved in an evening of activities in Bury St Edmunds ahead of the start of a major women’s cycling event.

Konrad Kantorowski flips from the wheel while coach John Colles looks on.

Heading down to the Kesgrave Sports Hall on a weeknight, you would probably be forgiven for expecting to find clubs practising regular sports. But sharing hall space with the local badminton team on a Thursday evening is a rather more unexpected gathering.

Photo issued by the National Crime Agency of fugitive Paul Monk, who featured on the UK's most wanted list on suspicion of drug trafficking, who has been captured in Alicante.

A fugitive on the UK’s most wanted list allegedly linked to a Colchester drugs haul has been arrested in Spain.

Stabbing in Farrow Close Leiston

Police are still piecing together two incidents in Leiston last night in which a 16-year-old boy and a man were both stabbed.

Abbie Hunter

As the sun blazes down to raise temperatures to the mid 20s, I am thinking about sport., says Abbie Hunter.

Cavendish.

“True democracy” is coming to a west Suffolk parish after 42 years, with villagers set to decide the Cavendish ward’s first ever contested St Edmundsbury Borough election.

Police are searching for Jai Stead

Police are searching for a man wanted on suspicion of robbery and failing to appear in court.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages