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

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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Yesterday, 08:04
Members of Power up North London, Ian Grant,Nikki Brain,Vijay Bhopal & Ben Pearce,pictured at St Anne's Church Highgate where they have been given permission to install Solar Panels on the roof. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A Grade II-listed church in Highgate will open up to rays of light above, after a community group won planning permission for solar panels to be installed on the slope of its roof

Fri, 15:02
A family enjoys fun in the sun. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton

School’s out for summer – great for children, but for parents, it can be a challenge to find enough activities to keep youngsters entertained over the six-week break.

Fri, 13:43
Neelu Berry arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court 07.10.15.

Two campaigners accused of spreading discredited claims of a Satanic paedophile ring have been told they must stay away from a vicar and his parishioners.

Fri, 13:18
Omar Bartocci, 13,  has been missing since Wednesday

Members of a Haringey rugby club have appealed for help finding a junior player who has gone missing.

Fri, 13:10
Elizabeth Dennis, Daisy Cripps 16, Amy Haysome 13, Millie Chapple 14, Poppy Kilbey 12, coach Becky Smith, Lindsey Wylie, and actress Michelle Collins ahead of this weekend's world record attempt

A Highgate charity is calling on the community’s help to dance its way into the record books.

Fri, 11:53
Kato Harris, who has been charged with three counts of rape

A teacher today told a jury that a 15-year-old schoolgirl who accused him of raping her in a classroom at her Camden school held a grugde against him after he commented on her “silly face” in a school photograph.

Fri, 11:52
Zack Newman and supporters with a petition demanding that Nigel Farage be prosecuted, at Kentish Town Police Station on 20.07.16.

A petition was handed in at Kentish Town police station yesterday calling for the arrest of UKIP leader Nigel Farage for ‘inciting racial hatred’ during the EU referendum campaign.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now