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Personal Trainer Josh Goes From 'Worthless' life to a job he loves

Lifetime learner Joshua Denney, aged 19, from Sheffield, now has a job he loves, despite leaving school without any qualifications and feeling his life was ‘worthless’. His learning achievements are being recognised with the Yorkshire and Humber Young Adult Learner Award as part of Adult Learners’ Week 18 - 24 May 2013.

Joshua suffered a turbulent childhood of abuse and neglect, and he dropped out of school with no qualifications then ended up in a world of substance abuse, depression and self-harming and felt his life was worthless. Joshua wanted to get his life back on track: “I tried to get a job but because I had not completed my education I got turned away,” he said.

The turning point came in 2011 when a friend suggested he enrol on a course with Lifetime Training. “The government-funded Fitness Instructor qualification was a complete lifeline for me,” said Joshua, who enrolled on the Level 2 course, which included work experience at the Sheffield Dragons Academy. In March 2012 Sheffield Dragons Academy were so impressed by Joshua’s work, they offered him an apprenticeship, which he gladly accepted.

“Lifetime’s pre-employment and Apprenticeship training has dramatically changed my life and I now have a job I love. I have just [November 2012] completed my Level 2 and am starting my Level 3,” said Joshua, who continued, “I thought my life was worthless, now I am on the way up.”

Once qualified, Joshua plans to open his own gym and to also work with charities that support children going through a difficult childhood.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said, "The achievements of this year’s NIACE Adult Learners’ Week winners are inspirational. Each winner demonstrates the life changing benefits education offers.

"To make it easy for anyone wanting to re-train, or to choose a new course of study, the National Careers Service is on hand and in its first year has advised 800,000 people on what options are open to them."

David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said, “Each and every year during Adult Learners’ Week we are reminded, by all the award winners’ stories, just how much people can improve their lives through learning. It helps them become more involved in their communities and often gives them a brighter future to look forward to. I hope their dedication, enthusiasm and desire for a better life inspires others to take up learning and transform their own lives as well.”

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