An apprentice engineer who was worried his hearing loss would hold him back is encouraging other disabled people to apply for apprenticeships.
Ben Hamblett from Wrexham is an 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 a charity for help. They were really useful and gave me practical advice on making phone calls to potential employers, interviewing techniques and how to state my disability on a job application.”
It was important for Ben to find an employer that would be supportive towards his deafness and advice to help him identify a list of potential employers. Ben added: “We found a company called ACE Lifts advertising engineering jobs. I was nervous about applying because some companies can have misconceptions about deaf people being a health and safety risk in the workplace - 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.
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 an 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 nearly a year into my apprenticeship and I’m really enjoying it and have regained my confidence,’