Apprentice powers up thanks to Futures & friends

Futures has sparked a Derbyshire man’s dream of becoming an electrician after providing crucial work experience.

Darren Mullins, 32, from Codnor, is on the way to a career in the trade after spending two months working alongside electricians from the Group, which manages nearly 9,200 homes throughout the East Midlands.

He landed the experience through our Futures Gateways programme, which helps its customers get training and jobs to improve their quality of life. Darren also received £250 worth of tools from Travis Perkins, one of the housing association’s key suppliers.

Darren said: “I always wanted to be an electrician. I used to fix TVs, phones and that kind of thing all the time but I walked away from it because of other things I was going through at the time.

“After years of agency work, I decided I wanted a career. I’ve been a full-time carer for my brother recently and I just wanted a better life for myself and my family so went back to electrical work.”

Darren completed his level two electrical installation qualification at college, but realised the need for more experience. After meeting a member of our employability team at a jobs fair in Alfreton, Darren was able to secure some time working with the electrician team.

He said: “I went to a jobs fair in Alfreton and met Sylvia from Futures there and I’m really glad that I did. I’ve learned more about the job [with Futures] than in college. I hope that the experience I’ve gained will lead to a full-time job.

“It would be much more difficult to [find a job] without this so I’m very grateful. I’m not going to give up. Thank you to Futures and Travis Perkins for the support I’ve received.”

Darren is now exploring apprenticeship options to continue his training as an electrician, but says that the experience he has gained will make him stand out to employers.

Since 2016, ours skills and employability programme, Futures Gateways, has supported more than 200 people to boost their skills and career prospects. In 2017-18, a total of 22 customers secured full-time employment following support from the scheme, with a further 13 completing work experience placements.

Suki Jandu, Group Director of Customer Experiences and Assets at Futures, said: “Darren’s story is really inspiring and a great example of how people can realise their ambitions with a bit of help, dedication and a great attitude. I’m really happy that we’ve been able to support Darren on his way to becoming an electrician.”

Dan Parkin, Branch Manager at Ripley Travis Perkins said: “We have a great relationship with Futures Housing Group, so it’s a privilege to support what they’re doing to help their customers into work. Electricians and other construction trades people are vitally important to tackling the skills and homes shortage; we hope this donation can help Darren on his way to becoming a top electrician.”

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