Gaining an education and new qualifications has changed my life. Now, I just need to put the final things in place to get myself back into the industry. I just want to achieve fully-qualified electrician status and get that gold card!
I started as an electrical apprentice when I was 16 years old. For the next two decades, I worked all over London and ran my own electrical business. I had several guys working for me and we had four vans. We’d do shop fit outs, house wiring, extensions, the lot!
In 2010, I had a rough year. My partner left London with someone else and I stopped seeing my son. Shortly after, the recession hit and my business went under. In the end, I just gave up on myself. I got involved with burglary, got caught and went to prison. Nothing changed over the next eight years. Each time I was released, I'd re-offend. I never had anything to come out for - no housing, no new skills, no job.
But this time, things are different. During my sentence, I had the opportunity to get an education. I’ve never had that before. I jumped at the chance and sped through the Level 2 Electrical course and 18th edition in less than 3 months. I put in a lot of effort. I even surprised myself with how well I was doing. I was offered early release on a tag, but I wanted to complete my courses so chose to stay inside until I passed everything.
I want to do the Level 3 course now, so I can return to the industry at a high level. The sooner I start, the sooner I finish and I can get back into work. I've currently been placed in temporary accommodation in a shared house - if I'm honest, it's awful. I want to stay focussed and don't want to be around people who are a negative influence. My plan is to move outside of London, and live and work somewhere where I can have my own place and parking for a work van.