Success Stories

Here at Portland Training, we believe all of our learners are inspirational - learning new skills and gaining new qualifications is a fantastic thing to do.

However, some people have to overcome exceptional personal challenges to achieve. We believe these people should tell their stories - to inspire us and to inspire other learners.

They prove that whatever you're going through, you can still be a Success Story! Have a scroll, and get inspired...

 John Hey

John came to us as an experienced driver with a lot of practical skills, but with severe dyslexia. During his childhood, he was educated in a special needs school and was always very frustrated with paperwork which has carried over to his adult life.

When he came to do FLT training with us we could see his practical skill was there and his knowledge but it was getting the information required down on paper that proved a challenge. We provided a scribe to read and write for him and also extra time to complete his portfolio, which he did very well, passing his test. Just a couple of weeks later, John was hired full-time for a logistics company. John is an inspirational story of not giving up because things are difficult. We can all learn from him!

Luke Abbott

Luke had been unemployed for over a year and was feeling mentally drained from all of the knock-backs he was receiving. He felt as if he would never work again.

He was even diagnosed with depression and anxiety during this time.

Luke was referred to one of our AEB courses, and immediately enjoyed the new things he was learning. He also really liked the tutors and felt his confidence returning.

The whole experience was extremely positive for Luke, and he said - "Since I've been on the course I have come so far. I am no longer on anti-depressants and feel so confident in myself. I now want to pay for my grandparents to go on a holiday to Cornwall, and I am excited about the future."

Lee Taylor

Lee was struggling to find work through agencies and felt he wasn't making the progress he wanted. He also found that his experiences were putting him off applying altogether.

He enrolled on one of our Academy courses and enjoyed it immediately. Not only did he enjoy learning new skills, but he also found it gave him the confidence he had lost whilst job-seeking.

He completed the course, and now has a full-time job! He said - "I can finally go on holidays I've dreamed of and help my parents out for all they have done for me."

Solomon Gordon

Solomon came to the Portland Academy team from Nacro in Sheffield, who support offenders moving back into employment. He had struggled to find work and gain education/training due to his poor literacy level - this was having a negative effect on his confidence. He had all the answers; he just couldn't put them on paper.

The Academy team knew how talented Solomon was, and helped him progress through his Qualifications. Despite being a natural on the Forklift Truck, his nerves got the better of him and he failed twice despite driving well all week. However, once again he did not give up and passed the next time with a brilliant score of 39/40 points.

Solomon has now gained 2 qualifications and passed his C/B FLT test, and his confidence has increased dramatically! He is also now in employment working for an agency and can now look to the future and show off his new qualifications when applying for new roles.

Steve Hodson

After being unemployed for a long time, Steve was worried he would never work again. He then heard about our Warehouse course through a job centre and decided to give it a go.

Steve really enjoyed the course and particularly found the interview skills section useful and it helped build his confidence. 

He was over the moon to successfully complete the course and will be starting work at a local warehouse very soon. He is also excited to plan a holiday abroad, which he could not afford to do whilst unemployed.

Amazing work Steve!

Scott Fletcher

Scott had provided long term care for a parent and found himself unemployed for 5 years. He also felt that his reliance on public transport had limited his opportunities.

Scott then took part in our Warehousing course, gaining new skills and meeting new people. He really enjoyed the course and found the facilities were good and the staff polite and helpful.

Following his interview, he gained employment and is excited to work hard and climb the ranks.

Truly inspiring Scott!

Barbara Byrne

After a long period of unemployment, Barbara's confidence had fallen hugely and she said she started to feel like she wasn't good enough. Then she took part in our Warehousing Course...

She said she was extremely nervous at the start, but in less than an hour, she started really enjoying herself. She found the tutors really friendly and helpful and got on well with the other people on the course. 

Now, with high confidence again, she has begun work at a new job and is working hard to move up the ladder.

Brilliant stuff Barbara!

Carol Forbes 

Carol took part in our Warehouse Course. She had been unemployed for 5 years - applying for jobs, and even taking part in training, but nothing came of it all. The years of unemployment led to her feeling depressed, and she stopped believing a job would ever come up.

She really enjoyed the training course, got on well with the rest of her group, and found the tutors really helpful and supportive.

Following her completion of the course, she gained employment and is really enjoying her new job. She is looking forward to working hard and progressing within the company.

Congratulations Carol!

Rob Hatfield

Rob took part in our Warehousing Course. He had been long term unemployed, following an injury, and found that being out of work for a long period of time meant he lost his confidence. 

He really enjoyed the course, finding it a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. He received a guaranteed interview as part of the course and successfully gained employment on completion.

He now plans to advance in his new job and work hard to reach extra training and promotion. 

Amazing work Rob!

Leanne Dyson 

Finding out about us from her Job Centre work coach, Leanne enquired about our Care Courses. She had been unemployed for a long period of time and found it made her unmotivated, and she felt she was 'in a rut'. 

She was also losing confidence, as she was not hearing back from roles she applied for, and due to not being qualified for the work she wanted.

During the course, Leanne notes how happy she was for the support she received and said she made friends and gained confidence.

Upon completion, she is now employed and looking forward to the future!

Kim Moates

Kim discovered our Care course when attending a Job fair in Barnsley. She had been unemployed for around two and a half years and found that she struggled. She had applied for a few jobs but not been successful and had begun to feel de-motivated and stressed.

Our Care course really helped her feel motivated again, and she met new friends and felt proud of herself.

After completion, she is now working for a local Care company and is very happy. She says she feels proud to be employed again.

Truly inspiring Kim!

Jackie Rapson

Jackie had been struggling with multiple years of unemployment, low confidence and self-esteem, and even depression. However, in the past, she had worked in the Care Industry, and so was recommended our care course.

Throughout the course, she found the group discussions and team-building helped her gain rapport with other candidates, and she found her confidence grew every day.

Following completion of the course, she was given a guaranteed interview with a local employer, and was successful! She is now enjoying working in Care once again and says she has met some lovely people.

Brilliant stuff Jackie!

Debbie Billam

Debbie had been unemployed for eight years when she joined our programme. She described her self-esteem as very low, with no motivation to even leave the house, let alone look for work. She also said her lack of experience in job searching and the interview process made it even more difficult.

On our programme, she was guided through each of the steps and helped with her interview and application skills. As well as this, the support she received really helped her build confidence.

Now Debbie is in work, she is extremely happy and feels her confidence has improved greatly. She hopes to continue in her current job, and increase her hours more and more.

Well done Debbie!


T.J felt his self-esteem and confidence had been affected hugely by being out of work for 20 years. He decided to try and get back into work, wanting to work in a factory, and he was referred onto a Portland Training course.

The course involved group activities which TJ said helped improve his confidence, and he enjoyed meeting people and sharing experiences. 

After completing the course, he has been accepted onto an induction at a local factory. He is extremely proud of himself and hopes to work hard and work his way up.

Congratulations T.J!

Chris Harrod

After a long period of unemployment and a series of 'knock-backs, Chris felt that he was losing confidence. 

He signed up for the course, and within weeks was finding his confidence improving. He said that not only did it give him the skills to return to work, but it also gave him the confidence to make the step.

He is now settled in a new role and is very happy. He is enjoying earning again, and putting the skills he learnt to use.

Well done Chris!

Functional Skills Group!

This is our first-ever functional skills course at Portland Training. Those whose native tongue is not English have achieved various levels of maths and English qualifications ranging from entry 1, 2 and 3.

Many of the learners are asylum seekers or refugees and have overcome many personal challenges to get to this point of achievement.

Well done everyone - a fantastic achievement! We look forward to many more Functional Skills Groups in the future.

Andrew Jones

Andrew hadn't worked for over 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer. He found he struggled with his confidence, and even felt depressed. However, he was referred to a Portland Training Forklift Course and feeling ready to try and get back into work, he decided to give it a go.

Throughout the course, he found his confidence increased every day. He also enjoyed meeting new people and getting back to normality.

After working extremely hard to complete the course, he was successful in an interview with a local Warehouse and started work as a Warehouse Operative. Then, within 2 weeks of work, he was promoted to Management - what an achievement!

Andrew not only really enjoyed the course, but also feels that Portland Training played a huge part in turning his life around, and he hopes to continue to progress throughout the company in the future.

Well done Andrew!

Simon White

Simon had been unemployed for an extended period of time and was really struggling to find work. He found that it affected his life in many ways, as he started to lose confidence and motivation.

He had wanted to go into Care, however thought he would be too old and didn't know how to get into it. Portland Training signed him onto a Level 2 in Care Planning, which he completed successfully, before organising an interview with Hesley Group. He was yet again successful and is now a proud Support Worker for the company.

He has found that achieving this employment goal has increased his confidence, and motivated him to achieve many of his own personal goals. Great work Simon!

Ian Whitehead

After being unemployed for a total of 14 months, Ian began thinking about finding a job in the Care Industry (something he had wanted to do for a while). However having various disabilities, and no experience in the industry, he felt there were too many barriers to entering this industry.

Ian discussed his aspiration with his Work Coach, who referred him to our Level 2 Health & Social Care Course (AEB funded). After taking part in, and passing, this course, Ian gained his Level 2 Principles of Care Planning, and obtained interviews with two separate care businesses.

In the end, he was offered both jobs! After deciding on his favourite, which is the Hesley Group based in Low Laithes Barnsley, he is now hoping to stay working for this company and progress to Level 3. He said that the course not only helped him obtain this job but also massively helped his general confidence.

Great work Ian!

Chris Wood

After being unemployed for well over 12 months, Chris said he felt his motivation and confidence disappearing. He didn’t have many qualifications and started to believe that he would remain unemployed for a long time.

He suffers from anxiety, as well as dyslexia, leading to many challenges when taking part in the training. Chris was supported by the Trainer and his Work Coach, and through hard work and dedication, he carried on working and achieved a Level 1 in Occupational Studies (AEB).

After completing this course, Chris attended interviews for Warehouse work and was successful. Now working for a local Warehouse business, through Pertemps, Chris says the training really helped his confidence and anxiety and he is hoping to progress in the near future.

Hard work really does pay off, congratulations Chris!

Stephanie Sellars

Stephanie had been unemployed for 13 months. She had always wanted to work in the Care Industry, however, she had no relevant experience. She spoke to her Work Coach and was put forward for our AEB funded Health & Social Care course.

She had previously been applying to Care vacancies and not been successful – she felt her lack of experience and confidence was a barrier to her. Stephanie was successful on the course, saying that it really helped her feel confident, leading to her applying for roles that she wouldn’t have previously.

She has now been successful in the interview stage and is shadowing whilst awaiting her official start date, with a Local Care Company.

Well done Stephanie!

Billie-Jean Grant

Billie had been working for a retail chain but had always wanted to work in the care industry. She had previously been a surrogate and loved being part of changing someone’s life for the better.

After this amazing experience, she decided a career in Care would be the best way for her to continue this path of helping others. She didn’t have any qualifications in Care, however, and so she spoke to her Work Coach at the Job Centre.

She was then enrolled on the Principles of Care Level 2 through us and completed this course successfully. Now working with Hesley Group, she has found the process has massively increased her confidence, and she is really enjoying her new role.

Emma Ogley

Since leaving school, Emma attended college courses but has never been in paid employment. She had helped her partner raise their stepchildren, as well as helping them look after their grandparent who suffered from dementia. After the grandparent's sad passing, she knew that a career in Care was what she wanted.

She felt as her Care skills were self-taught, she needed to gain a qualification. Her partner had completed a warehouse course through us and recommended our Care courses to her.

She then completed a Level 2 Principles of Care course and is now a full-time Care Assistant with a Local Care Company. Her confidence has improved enormously, and she hopes one day to be a Senior Carer or even Manager.