Progress Employee Transforms Career Through Apprenticeship Programme
From Farming to Facilities: Ian’s Journey to Success
Regarded as a beacon of determination and resilience that shines bright, Ian is part of Progress’ facilities maintenance team, and his journey epitomises the transformative power of apprenticeship programmes. As National Apprenticeship Week dawns upon us, Ian’s story serves as a testament to the opportunities and growth these initiatives offer.
Ian’s journey began with humble origins. Raised in a nomadic fashion due to his father’s military service, Ian’s educational path was anything but conventional. With a string of school changes and no formal qualifications to his name, he found himself thrust into the world of farming at a tender age, where hard work and grit became his constant companions.
However, fate had more in store for Ian. Two years ago, he embarked on a new chapter by joining Progress, a decision that he said would alter the course of his career and life. Initially hesitant about formal education, Ian’s perspective shifted when he began a Progress-sponsored apprenticeship programme that is tailored to his needs—a property maintenance course offered by a local college. Under the guidance of his line manager, he seized this opportunity to broaden his skill set and start a journey towards gaining the qualifications he once lacked.
In a candid interview at Progress Head Office, Ian reminisced about his journey, recounting the initial uncertainties and subsequent triumphs. He shared, “I’ve never been without a job. I’ve got loads of experience but no qualifications. So as soon as I came to Progress, they found this property maintenance course for me in a college, they put me on it.”
Ian’s thirst for knowledge was palpable as he delved into various activities, from mastering bricklaying to relishing his foray into electrical work. He added, “That is what I really enjoy. I enjoy that more than bricklaying, but I love bricklaying, and I like slabbing and fencing but I really enjoy doing the electrical side of it.”
Crucially, Ian’s story wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the unwavering support of his line manager Vanessa, head of department Angeline, and the entire Progress team.
Vanessa emphasised the importance of Progress’ apprenticeship initiative, stating, “What we want to do is be able to give him the qualification to be able to progress his career in any way he chooses.” She continued, “His apprenticeship covers a wide range of different trades, so he gets to try lots of different things, because his job requires him to have a wide range of skills.”
As Ian looks ahead to the future, especially his graduation in 2025, his ambitions are bold and unwavering. At 44 years young, he envisions himself not just as a skilled maintenance officer but as a leader within the maintenance team—a beacon of inspiration for others embarking on similar paths. His transformation to education-loving, forward-thinking, ambitious and aspirational proficient person is a testament to the power of perseverance and lifelong learning that apprenticeship can provide.
At Progress, Ian’s journey stands as a reminder that with determination and support, anyone can rewrite their story.
“As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, I am inspired by the stories of growth and achievement within our organisation. Progress is not just a workplace; it’s a learning environment, and we are dedicated to providing unparalleled support for our team members pursuing apprenticeships,” said Claire Rogers, Managing Director, Progress.
As National Apprenticeship Week unfolds, Ian’s tale serves as a rallying cry for organisations to invest in their employees’ potential and nurture talent from all walks of life.
For Ian, the sky’s the limit, and with each passing day, he moves one step closer to realising his dreams, fuelled by the unwavering belief that this is indeed within reach.
Would you like to join our amazing team? Check out available career opportunities at Progress here.