Search

From drugs to decorating: Chalk Farm apprentice turns life around on pioneering training course

07:00 13 August 2014

Jack Closier turned his life around when he enrolled on a pre-apprenticeship training course

Jack Closier turned his life around when he enrolled on a pre-apprenticeship training course

Archant

Arrested twice for drug possession after leaving school aged 16, Jack Closier had given up all hopes for a successful career.

Two years on, the Chalk Farm youngster is climbing up through the ranks as an apprentice painter and decorator - all thanks to an innovative training scheme.

The 18-year-old said he has “changed for the better” since he signed up for a vocational “pre-apprenticeship” course at K&M McLoughlin Training, in Holloway, Islington, which offers youngsters a tempting alternative to college or university.

The pioneering institute opened to much fanfare in 2012, and prepares 16 to 19-year-olds so they are ready for work on a building site during a whirlwind five-week course.

Jack, who left Haverstock School in 2012, dreamed of becoming a professional footballer and played for the Under-16s team at Premiership club Tottenham Hotspurs.

But an ankle injury left him in crutches for eight months and dashed his hopes of footballing stardom.

“I just gave up at that time,” Jack told the Ham&High. “That’s when I started meeting the wrong people and doing the wrong things.

“I got nicked for drugs, for cannabis and a bit of cocaine. There was nothing better to do.”

Jack, who lives with his mum in Ferdinand Street, resolved to turn his life around when he realised that his actions were taking a toll on his mum, who was worried about her son’s safety.

On a friend’s recommendation, he signed up to the five-week course at K&M McLoughlin Training, run by Islington-based firm K&M McLoughlin Decorating, in April last year.

Just one week after completing his training, he landed an apprenticeship with firm E Poole & Co, which covers most of the capital.

“I got myself on the right path,” said Jack. “I just had enough of bumming around, and I wanted to do the right thing.

“I was stressing my mum out, and she doesn’t need that. It has definitely changed me for the better.”

Three out of four students find apprenticeships or employment after finishing the training, according to the decorating firm’s partner, City and Islington College, in Holloway.

Jack is adamant that schools should do more to highlight alternative opportunities for pupils who are unsure about taking a traditional academic route into their chosen career.

“I had no clue about apprenticeships at school – I thought it was either college or university,” he said. “They need to show more options.

“For me, it was really enjoyable because I’m a hands-on person and I don’t like to sit down at a desk.”

Last year, K&M McLoughlin Decorating won a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award for the firm’s pre-apprenticeship vocational training scheme.

The awards are given out annually by the City of London Corporation to recognise outstanding corporate responsibility.

For more information about the courses, visit kmdecorating.co.uk/index.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 14:00
Memories of 1914-1918 a show devised and performed by Lee Montague and friends in support of Keats Library Michael Palin pictured with Lee Montague and Robert Powell

Tales of local life during the First World War helped to light up a star-studded Remembrance event.

Yesterday, 09:00
Nicholas Lyndhurst and Tamzin Outhwaite pose with Lauderdale House staff members after filming in Waterlow Park

Stars of a TV detective series took time out of filming in Highgate to help a historic house’s fundraising campaign.

Fri, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Fri, 15:51
Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from Highgate Post Office in Archway Road in the early hours of this morning.

Thieves attempted to steal a cash point machine from a post office in Highgate in the early hours of this morning.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition