An apprentice engineer who was worried his hearing loss would hold him back is encouraging other disabled people to apply for apprenticeships, reports the Leader.
Ben Hamblett from Wrexham is an electrical and electronic engineering apprentice with ACE Lifts and works in a small team wiring lift component units.
The 28-year old achieved a HNC in Engineering at Glyndŵr University after leaving school but struggled to get into employment for five years, which resulted in him suffering from low confidence and anxiety.
The job he had applied for involved working down a lift shaft where he would be required to follow the instructions of a colleague who would be positioned at the top of the lift.
“After the trail I was offered the apprenticeship role. I was shocked when I got the call but overjoyed that I finally got a job after years of searching. I’m now nearly a year into my apprenticeship and I’m really enjoying it and have regained my confidence,’ he added.
Traditionally there has been under-representation from protected groups on the apprenticeship programme in Wales with only 1.5 per cent of apprentices declaring themselves as having a disability or health condition.
Ben is now hoping to show other disabled people that an apprenticeship could be the turning point for those looking to get into employment.
“Every day I’m learning new skills, I have learnt how lift equipment and components work and my hearing loss hasn’t been an issue at all. Not only that but my apprenticeship has meant that I’m also financially stable,” said Ben, who is also learning to speak Japanese.
“I’m so much more positive about the future now, and I can’t wait to see what the next year of my apprenticeship will bring.”
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.