Customer Stories

John Cangson – Thales Rail Engineering Apprentice

"Skills London is the start of a bright future for everyone."

16 October 2017

John Cangson grew up on a council estate located in West Norwood, South East London. John enjoyed sixth form, studying History, Sociology and English Literature at A Level. At 16, confused about what he wanted to do in the future and convinced that university was not the right route for him, John received a leaflet by his sixth form about a careers event called ‘Skills London’.

John recalls his Sociology teacher telling him “There’s nothing worse than waking up to a 9-to-5 job that you don’t enjoy”, something he says, he will always remember, and which led him to the conclusion that an office job, or sitting down filing paperwork was not the sort of career he wanted.

He chose to attend Skills London for assistance in helping him decide on a career focus. In response to being asked why he attended the event, John said:

 “At the time, when I was 16, I was confused. I went from wanting to be a Doctor to wanting to be Lawyer. Skills London opens up different opportunities and possibilities in terms of your career and future endeavours.”

At the event, John went to the Thales stand and from there started talking to one of the apprentices, Danny Anderson, who gave him the information and knowledge about the Apprenticeship Scheme.

Following this, John was determined to apply for the Apprenticeship Scheme and after the event Danny continued to be a great support to John. Danny advised him to continue with his education and do well in his A Levels. Alongside his A Levels, John worked as a gardener and to gain basic engineering skills, John also worked for his friend’s MOT garage. Once a suitable age to join Thales, John applied for the Apprenticeship Scheme and was successful! John hopes to finish his 3 year Apprenticeship and work for Thales abroad.

When asked if he would recommend Skills London to others, John replied: “Yes, definitely! Skills London is the start of a bright future for everyone. Skills London has 200 exhibitors willing to talk to you, willing to talk about how to be successful in the future.”

Now training to be a Railway Signalist, John returned to Skills London to represent Thales, only two years after meeting Danny Anderson at the Thales Stand as a student. Tasked with speaking about the apprenticeship scheme to students, parents and teachers, John was also chosen to meet Boris Johnson. John feels Thales has provided him with a life-changing opportunity, a clearer career path and an exciting future ahead, and would urge others to attend careers events, such as Skills London

The next Skills London event takes place 23-24 November at ExCeL London. 

For the full line up of Prospects events please click here

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