Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C

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

Northgate High School

A former teacher at an Ipswich secondary school is to appear in court charged with more than a dozen alleged sex offences involving teenage girls.

Leiston Middle School pancake races in February 1978. Do you recognise anyone?

Today as we mark Shrove Tuesday and the last day before Lent, we have dug into our archives of pancake day photos.

Police are investigating

A community first responder was assaulted in Felixstowe last night.

Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Man admits child and extreme porn charges

A 32-year-old Leiston man could be facing a prison sentence after admitting possessing pornography involving children and animals.

Lyndsey Hessey (centre) with Ipswich Hospital staff for last year's Easter egg collection

A charitable Kesgrave woman is hoping to put a smile on the faces of patients at Ipswich Hospital this Easter as she launches her drive for chocolate eggs.

Colin Noble and Christopher Hudson outside Endeavour House.

The deputy leader of Suffolk County Council is today facing claims that he was heard using offensive language to describe senior colleagues at the authority.

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

The jury in the trial of an Ipswich woman accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home is expected to continue its deliberations today.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth visiting Ipswich to see the work on boosting the Princes Street area, Ipswich. Left to right, Jonathan Ashworth,  Councillor David Ellesmere.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth has visited Ipswich to see the town’s growing business area – and the new home of Archant’s Suffolk titles.

The BP garage on the A134 in Sudbury has been ram raided in the early hours. Reports suggest the ATM has been removed.

A cash machine has been stolen in a ram raid at a petrol station in Sudbury in the early hours of this morning.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24