An Easington man has overcome three years of unemployment to become a forklift driving instructor.
Craig Savage, 23, was referred to The Employability Trust in Peterlee, through a Jobcentre Plus programme, and gained the skills he needed to start his career.
He said: “I am so proud of myself and can’t wait to start as an instructor, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
Craig quickly realised he wanted to become a forklift driver after being taken on by the youth unemployment charity.
Despite failing the required exams, Craig found encouragement from Employability Trust chief executive Bill Marley.
He also received additional training from warehouse manager Mick Johnson and funding from Durham County Council and he passed at the second attempt.
“I can’t thank Bill and Mick enough for the faith they showed in me and motivation they gave me to re-sit the exams,” said Craig.
“I was so defeated after failing the first time but they let me know they had my back and believed that I should have another go.”
The Employability Trust helps young people not in education or employment to prepare for work.
Through non-traditional training, the trust teaches people the skills they need to secure long-term employment.
Bill said: “The trust prides itself on helping people like Craig, who for one reason or another have struggled to find employment. I really believed that Craig could do it and pushed him to take the exams again. That belief has certainly been repaid and I am over the moon for Craig.”
The trust has now helped over 87 per cent of the young people, like Craig, who have passed through its doors to find secure employment.
They have a training centre where people can learn to drive forklifts and a variety of other vehicles. For more information visit www.theemployabilitytrust.com