There are many superlatives that I could use to describe Aaron Mould: Inspirational and outstanding are just two of them. Aaron was born and brought up in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. He was one of eight children to his mother Julie and his father Fredrick. Aaron described his childhood years as brilliant, being part of a loving family. However things started to change when his dad passed away when he was just eleven years old. It knocked his confidence and with no father figure to guide him he started to skip secondary school and then began to hang around with the wrong crowd. He started skipping school more and more thinking he knew best, he wasn’t thinking about his future and subsequently he didn’t bother to sit his GCSEs and left school with no qualifications.
After leaving school aged just 16 Aaron decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and join the army. Without realising it the odds were already stacked against Aaron, as statistics showed that around 80% of 16-18 year old’s leave the army in the first 12-weeks of training and 70% in the first 12 months. Aaron became another of those statistics and after leaving the army he tried a variety of jobs, but his heart wasn’t in any of them. So in between jobs, he would visit the Barrow job centre. It was on one of these visits that he was told about the Prince’s trust Get into Engineering – Movement to Work (MTW) programmes. Aaron made a decision that again was going to change his life – only this time by far for the better.
Aaron was about to realise the dream of a lifetime for the majority of young adults past and present in Barrow and start a career with BAE Systems Submarines – Founded in the late 1800s until the present day, the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard has progressed, marked by change in ownership from the Barrow Shipbuilding Company, to Vickers, and now to BAE systems. In total, 373 merchant ships, 312 submarines and 148 naval surface ships have been built in Barrow-in-Furness for navies and companies across the world, including the majority of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines. Barrow’s shipyard is considered a central provider of jobs in Cumbria. Recognising that they are the main employers, senior management made a pivotal and bespoke decision to offer onward apprenticeships to Movement to Work candidates who demonstrate a good work ethic throughout the 4-week MTW programme and show dedication, determination and true potential.
Aaron duly attended the Taster selection day and it was obvious that here was a young man who was going to grasp this opportunity. It was clear to see that he worked well with others in a team situation and he was caring of his peers on the day, as some were very nervous and he was very supportive even at this early stage of knowing them. During the 4-week Get into/MTW Engineering programme Aaron displayed a number of positive behaviors in both the classroom and on placement with the Welders. In class he worked hard to develop his employability skills in Interview techniques, CV, communication, teamwork and reliability evidenced by Aaron achieving 100% attendance for the 4-weeks.
Summing up his experience Aaron said “”I was so excited that I had gained a place on the course as the shipyard is the back bone of my home town and it felt like a massive achievement to get this opportunity with them. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be offered an apprenticeship and just end up in dead end jobs with no future. Luckily I was offered an apprenticeship and that was just what I needed to build a future with my girlfriend who is expecting our first child in July”.
Aaron was assessed as an exceptional candidate during the 4-week MTW programme. He stayed focused, built on his existing life skills from the Army and did everything that was asked of him and more. He was duly rewarded with the offer of an Apprenticeship at Furness College. In his first seven months he has been awarded Apprentice of the Month on two occasions. Aaron was presented with his award by the Managing Director of BAE Systems. An article about the award has been featured on the BAE internal web site. At the time of writing, Aaron is now in his 2nd year of Apprenticeship and has been selected to be a Counsellor to support new Apprentices and act as a spokesman for his peer group.
The impact of this achievement cannot be underestimated: Arron has already begun to build a solid future with his partner. They have rented a flat which they quickly decorated in time for the arrival of their first baby. They are both saving hard from their joint incomes for a mortgage to purchase a house.