Case Study: Luke (Career Connect)

Luke was referred as he was due to start on a Construction traineeship, delivered in partnership with Salford College but the traineeship managers had concerns about his attendance, engagement and behaviour.

Luke achieved good grades at GCSE, but he was involved in several negative incidents at school, leading him to be excluded, he was also working with both Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Achieve, for drugs related support. In addition to this, he was also benefiting from support for his anger. Luke at this stage of his life was taking Ecstasy on a weekly basis, sometimes daily basis and smoking Cannabis regularly.

Most of the incidents were regarded by the school as racially motivated incidents. This led to Luke getting a reputation and being excluded from school. Luke got good grades, despite the incidents and went to College. Luke left College after a year as the same people with whom he had problems previously were threatening violence against him on a daily basis, this led to several fights and even death threats and Luke could not cope with this anymore and left college.

Prior to his referral to Connect 2, Luke had done nothing for approximately 7 months, very rarely leaving the house during the week and smoking considerable amounts of cannabis. The only times Luke would leave the house was on a weekend, when he would see his friends and smoke cannabis. This was making Luke feel depressed and he perceived his ability to achieve a progression into EET as being impossible.

He was introduced to an adviser who started working closely with Luke on a 1-1 basis and immediately started discussing the exact incidents that led to problems at school and college. Through these discussions it became evident that Luke would say the most offensive things in order get a reaction from others.

Luke initially used words and phrases to offend, they had become the first words in his mind when in a confrontational situation; he highlighted that this could cause problems and lead to conflict escalating.

Luke met his adviser on a weekly basis to work on appropriate behaviour in the workplace, conflict avoidance, being more aware of how other people perceive him, what constraints there are in society in relation to free speech and how his words and attitudes could cause offence to others. His adviser included techniques such as scenario planning and this allowed him to see how his future behaviour can impact upon him and others.

Luke started the traineeship and continued to meet his adviser every Friday, during his day off. He continued to work on anger management and the idea of attending a gym was discussed to consider other ways to channel his feelings.

In addition to this, Luke’s friends met with his adviser, they were all encouraged to join a 5 aside football league, which they did; they are now playing in a competitive league every week. Luke was supported to register at the gym and he is now attending the gym every week, often more than once.

Luke leaves the house regularly for positive social activities and has been encouraged to develop his team-working skills and to demonstrate commitment.  Luke has completed his traineeship successfully, with no issues or concerns raised by the training provider or employer and he has been pinpointed as one of the trainee’s most likely to sustain an apprenticeship. As a result of this they are going to send him on another placement for 4 weeks, which does have the possibility to become an apprenticeship if everything goes well. Luke received an excellent reference and has made considerable personal progress since starting on the programme.

Luke has made tremendous progress; he was regarded as one of the best students on the traineeship course. He is now awaiting a new start date with a new site (it has been delayed due to staff illness) which, if he continues to work hard and impress the employer, will hopefully lead to a full-time apprenticeship.

Luke has reduced his drug use significantly, currently smoking cannabis only occasionally, this has reduced from daily use and Luke is not taking any other drugs.

Following the one to one work around behaviour in the workplace, language and anger Luke has made significant progress in all areas. Some of the offensive language and phrases he would use were defence mechanisms and often used out of anger. He understands the implications of flippantly using offensive or racially-charged language towards others and is feeling far happier now he has a more active lifestyle and has reduced his reliance on substance use.

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