I was introduced to Lancashire County Council's Recruitment Officers in April 2011 by my key worker at North Lancs Training Group. I was undertaking their Foundation Learning Programme, and ready to progress into a work experience placement.
After leaving school, I started an apprenticeship in Customer Service, but did not feel this was for me as it was very 'sales orientated'. I was keen to discuss my options with the Recruitment Officers.
I've always been very keen on reading and my dream job would be working in a bookshop or library. I discussed this at the meeting and the Recruitment Officers made suggestions of possible placements within the Council.
A couple of weeks later, my Recruitment Officer advised me of a placement opportunity within the Lancashire Records Office, where historic documents are stored and made available to the public on request. I attended a training session before starting my placement.
Whilst on placement, I learned about referencing and archiving books and documents. I also received training on the bespoke database system Talis that is used in the library service. I worked alongside an Archivist to retrieve records and pack for distribution. I supported staff by creating statistics and producing tables. I also attended an NVQ training day and contributed ideas about utilizing social media to attract people to libraries.
The benefits of being on the Future Horizons programme are; learning new skills, increasing confidence and meeting new people. I now have a portfolio of evidence which shows the range of duties I excelled at.
I have received excellent references from 2 placement managers, which have assisted me in securing a 12 month training contract with Lancashire Certificate Services. I will be starting a Level 2 Customer Service apprenticeship soon.
Julie Creer, Senior Community Heritage Manager said: "Ryan was keen and willing to learn, he showed initiative, which is a great help in this environment. It was a valuable and insightful experience for all involved".
Pamela Ward, Library Collections Manager said: "Ryan brought a fresh pair of eyes to the workplace, which helped us to evaluate the work that is currently done and whether improvements can be made to practices and processes". "It is a good way to promote services and help young people towards future employment".