Barnardo’s supporting disadvantaged into work

John Anthony Kinghorn with his apprentice Nathan.
John Anthony Kinghorn with his apprentice Nathan.

A charity has been showcasing its work to help youngsters get into employment.

Barnardo’s Employment Training and Skills (ETS) North, in North Shields, took part in National Apprenticeship Week to highlight the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

Beauty therapy is one of the appenticeships offers at Barnardo's Employment Training and Skills (ETS) North centre.

Beauty therapy is one of the appenticeships offers at Barnardo's Employment Training and Skills (ETS) North centre.

One of those who has benefited from Barnardo’s apprenticeships is painter and decorator John Anthony Kinghorn.

The 28-year-old has gone from starting on a Barnardo’s course in 2008 to running his own award-winning firm Decorating by John Anthony.

And 11 years later, John now takes on apprentices from Barnardo’s.

He said: “It was my way of giving back to Barnardo’s, which was so helpful to me when I was an apprentice myself.

“I was sleeping in a van when I began the course and as soon as my tutors found out they arranged a meeting, which resulted in me being given a place in a hostel, then eventually I was moved into my own flat.

“Without the support of Barnardo’s I would have been homeless longer than I was.

“I always wanted to have a trade so at the first opportunity, a year after I left school, I started on the painting and decorating course and it was a foot in the door.”

John’s latest Barnardo’s apprentice is 18-year-old Nathan.

John said: “He came on placement with me in February 2017 when he was 16 and has been my apprentice since September 2018.

“He has made great progress in the time he has spent with me and isn’t afraid to get stuck into any type of work at all.”

Barnardo’s ETS helps disadvantaged and vulnerable young people to access training and employment across a range of roles, from motor mechanics to work in the construction industry.

Christina Saunders-Wingfield, manager at Barnardo’s at ETS North, said: “At Barnardo’s, we believe every child should be given the chance to fulfil their potential.

“For many vulnerable, young people, apprenticeships and training are a vital step on the path to independence and Barnardo’s is proud to give so many of them such opportunities.

“We work with young people to improve their confidence, to tackle their issues, and to be the place in which young people will gain their qualifications to find success in careers they enjoy.”