Ben Hamblett was worried that his hearing loss would hold him back. Now he’s encouraging other disabled people to apply for apprenticeships.
Low confidence and anxiety
Ben is a Level 3 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Apprentice with ACE Lifts and works in a small team wiring lift component units.
The 28-year old achieved a HNC in Engineering at Glyndŵr University after leaving school but struggled to get into employment for five years, which resulted in him suffering from low confidence and anxiety.
Ben said: “I was worried about the future and not being in work. It reached the point where I knew I needed support, so I contacted Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL) for help.
Finding a supportive employer
It was important for Ben to find an employer that would be supportive towards his deafness and so AOHL helped him identify a list of potential employers.
“We found a company called ACE Lifts advertising engineering jobs”, said Ben. “I was nervous about applying because some companies can have misconceptions about deaf people being a health and safety risk in the work place - especially in engineering roles.”
The job he had applied for involved working down a lift shaft where he would be required to follow the instructions of a colleague who would be positioned at the top of the lift.
Securing his apprenticeship
Ben, who in his spare time enjoys producing music, said: “I went to meet ACE Lifts for an informal chat and during this, I realised that the role wasn’t suited for me as I may not have been able to hear the instructions. It was obviously disappointing but then they mentioned a Level 3 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Apprenticeship that was live and offered me a two-day work trial.
“After the trial I was offered the apprenticeship role. I was shocked when I got the call but overjoyed that I finally got a job after years of searching! I’m now seven months into my apprenticeship and I’m really enjoying it and have regained my confidence,’ he added.
A positive future
Ben is now hoping to show other disabled people that an apprenticeship could be the turning point for those looking to get into employment.
“Every day I’m learning new skills, I have learnt how lift equipment and components work and my hearing loss hasn’t been an issue at all. Not only that but my apprenticeship has meant that I’m also financially stable.” Said Ben, who is also learning to speak Japanese.
“I’m so much more positive about the future now, and I can’t wait to see what the next year of my apprenticeship will bring.”
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