Steve overcomes personal challenges to turn his life around with Skills for Employment programme

Steve didn’t finish school, he left before his 16th birthday without any qualifications.

Alcoholism and associated mental health issues blighted his life for over a decade.

Now the 40-year-old from Salford has made a fresh start with help from ForViva.

ForViva work in partnership with The Manchester Growth Company and European Social Fund to deliver the Skills for Employment programme aiming to get customers back into work, education or training.

Steve had been sober for two years and had been looking for work for some time when he undertook a part-time eight-week work experience placement with ForViva’s Skills Centre after hearing about the programme through The Manchester Growth Company.

Having previously worked as a joiner, Steve refreshed his skills while on placement and quickly achieved a qualification in multi-trade construction activities.

The team at the Skills Centre were so impressed with his expertise in joinery that they took him on as a volunteer after his placement to learn how to teach joinery to young people.

This led to Steve securing a full-time position as a trainer at the Skills Centre.

Steve explained that the placement through the Skills for Employment programme, the volunteering he did there, and support from the ForViva team gave him the confidence to apply for the post.

Steve has also recently achieved a Level 3 qualification in Education and Training. He now wants to complete his assessors qualification and continue working with ForViva.

He said: “It all really opened me up to see how my skills and experience could benefit others and I really wanted to pass my knowledge on to young people. It gave me confidence after being unemployed for so long and feeling hopeless.

“I had a good upbringing, but despite that I went down the wrong track. Now my life has completely changed thanks to this job and the support of the team. I have got my self-respect back.

“I’ve got money in my pocket, I’ve changed my lifestyle and I’m in touch with my family and friends again. I recently got engaged too, so I’m saving for our wedding!”

He added: “I’m now off benefits and can contribute to my daughter’s upbringing. I have purpose and I’m optimistic about the future, there is so much I want to do.”