How a Blackpool engineering firm helped an ex-offender get his career up and running

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A Blackpool firm has helped a former offender get up and running in a career as an electrician.

 

Building services engineering firm Ameon has taken part in the C2W, Custody to Work, rehabilitation scheme to offer apprenticeship training to a former Kirkham Prison inmate.

Rob Parker, 33, was imprisoned for drugs related offences in 2018, but is now working on a major North West construction contract with the Whitehills based firm.

He is now just three years away from qualifying as an electrician and is training to run the Manchester Marathon for Ameon’s nominated charity Brian House Children’s Hospice.

Ameon principal contract manager, Dave Scott, left, with new electrical apprentice, Rob ParkerAmeon principal contract manager, Dave Scott, left, with new electrical apprentice, Rob Parker

Rob said : “My darkest days were when on bail awaiting trial, because I couldn’t look beyond that point in time. Then when sentenced, it was as though a light came on and I knew that I could make amends to my mum and dad for the hurt and shame I’d caused them. I could see beyond prison and I knew also that I could make a contribution to society, if I had an opportunity.

“Clearly, drugs offences are very serious and I accepted my sentence as justified but I didn’t want it to define my life, which is why I viewed my release as the first step on the road back.

That road was opened by the C2W scheme and by Ameon, who took a chance on me. And it’s a chance I do not intend to squander.”

Ameon’s principal contract manager, Dave Scott, is the man responsible for Rob’s appointment. He had no hesitation in offering him a job and is in no doubt that he’ll be a success.

He said: “The minute I read Rob’s extremely candid and articulate letter I knew this young man had the intellect to understand his predicament and also the nous to know how to change his circumstances for the future.

“In truth, none of us here knew what to expect of him in the workplace but he’s been a model employee and is really keen to learn. He’s also actually a really nice lad, which is another thing people might find hard to believe, because it’s sometimes difficult for people to see beyond the label.

“Initiatives like C2W are a great help to offenders, and in our case, it has also proved to be a very positive thing for us as an employer. Rob’s appointment proves that everyone is capable of making a positive contribution if they have the chance, so more opportunities like this can only be good for business and society.”