A TEENAGER from Eastwood has been given the chance to get a foot on the career ladder as part of a scheme run by Ashfield Rugby Club.
Josh Heald has just started a three-year joinery apprenticeship with furniture company Charles Yorke, based in Kirkby, after taking part in the rugby club’s youth development programme FirstPoint.
The 18-year-old said: “This means a lot to me. I now have a career in something I enjoy, in a place I like coming to every day.
“Practical work is my thing. It’s what I’m best at.”
Josh is one of 1,200 young people who have taken part in the youth programme over the last five years.
When he was younger, Josh was excluded from school but the scheme helped him to work through personal problems, get back into education, pass his GCSEs and complete an NVQ.
Earlier this year he was nominated for one of three apprenticeships at Charles Yorke.
Managing director of the company Mark Denman said: “He’s been absolutely fantastic - a model employee.
“It’s rare to find an 18-year-old so hungry to work and learn. His attitude is excellent and he’s an asset to the company.”
Since he joined the youth scheme, Josh has gained five GCSEs and a Fitness Instructor NVQ. He has also volunteered in gyms while looking for full-time job.