When Rob Parker began his electrical apprenticeship, it was at her Majesty’s pleasure in HM Prison Kirkham in Lancashire, but the now fully qualified – and one of the country’s newest – electricians, is proving a shining light for other offenders, who may think that a conviction is the end of their chance for a place back in society.


Rob applied himself to the task of turning around his life, following a conviction for a drug related offence, and applied for training through the government’s ‘Custody 2 Work’ (C2W) programme, which helps offenders prepare for the working environment.  Determined to gain an apprenticeship, he contacted dozens of companies, before he was taken on by us and he’s now not only a gold card-carrying electrician but is also studying for health and safety qualifications with the company, whilst working as the health and safety adviser on one of our most high profile £multi-million construction contracts.


During his apprenticeship, Rob studied whilst training on several Ameon’s contracts – installing mechanical and electrical infrastructure in some of the most iconic high rise developments being constructed in Manchester city centre.  He also found time to train for the Manchester Marathon (his first ever) and completed the course in under four hours; raising hundreds of pounds into the bargain for Ameon’s adopted charity, Brian House Children’s Hospice.


Rob commented: “I fully accepted my punishment, but when sentenced, I decided that it wasn’t going to define my life.  Thankfully, with the help of C2W and the foresight of an enlightened employer, I’ve been able to fulfil an ambition I’ve held since my teenage years, which is when I first wanted to train as an electrician.


“The company has been fantastic with me from day one and has encouraged me at every step on this new journey.  Nobody here has ever treated me differently because of the path I’ve taken, and I think that’s why the environment has been such a positive one in which to learn.


The man who gave Rob Parker a chance, Ameon’s principal contract manager, Dave Scott, is proud of Rob’s application and determination to make a new life for himself.  He reflected: “From the moment I read Rob’s application letter I knew this was an individual with the intellect to comprehend his predicament, coupled with the drive to want something positive to come out of the situation.  Since joining us he’s made a real contribution to the company, and he has a bright future ahead of him.


“To us he’s just Rob, and his past is his past.  He’s earned that right because of his willingness to want to be one of our growing team and to want to learn and develop.  He’s a great guy who simply made a mistake, but now, following a mature apprenticeship, he’s on the right path in a company that has a track record of promoting on merit from within the organisation, so he has every chance of fulfilling his ambitions with us.”