Who is Carl Hainsby?
Chingford born Carl is an 18 year old singer/songwriter and one third of the boy band Franklin Lake (formerly 11:11) who works as a Strategic Housing Officer Apprentice with Waltham Forest Council.
Carl left school at 16 with 5 A-C GCSEs and knew then he wanted to be an estate agent. He attended Harlow College studying plumbing and quickly realised that it wasn’t right for him. “I was labelled the worst top 10 plumber that ever went to college” explained Carl.
After dropping out of the plumbing course at 17, Carl was introduced to the idea of an apprenticeship by his dad and came along to the apprenticeship open day at Leyton Neighbourhood Learning Centre. He passed the assessments and was sent to an interview with Waltham Forest Council Strategic Housing Department. Carl started his apprenticeship at the Council on 2 September 2013.
You are working as a Strategic Housing Officer Apprentice, what does the job involve?
At the start the job involved creating spread sheets, taking minutes and being involved in the day-to-day administration of the department. After three months of working and gaining experience, I was transferred to Ascham Homes, which was more suited to me. I am learning everything to do with housing within Letting Waltham Forest, I am able to talk to tenants and take part in property visits, which is what I wanted to do from the start. I bounce with other teams like the Customers Service team and Temporary Accommodation team to get as much experience as I can.
What is the wage like?
It started off at about £400 per month and went up every 4 months so now I am on the highest wage of about £1000 per month, which is great as I still live with my parents and don’t pay bills. So it’s really good money.
What will you do after the apprenticeship?
My apprenticeship is now coming to an end. I have handed in my application for the job that I am doing and am now waiting to hear if I can continue in the role. I feel confident that I will get the job, but if I don’t, I will be guaranteed an interview in another department.
How is the apprenticeship benefiting you?
This apprenticeship has given me work experience that I can take into the future and has opened up opportunities for me. It has taught me to be professional in the work place and enabled me to grow as I was still in a student mind set. Harpal Rull is my Work Placement Officer, she helped me to get on my feet when I started the apprenticeship and guided me in the right direction. Now my apprenticeship is nearly at an end she explains to me what to do after my apprenticeship and how to go forward with my career plan.
If you didn’t go down the apprenticeship route what would you have done?
I would have gone to college doing sport or music but I didn’t feel they would have been worthwhile qualifications to get a job.
What would you say to any young person who is unsure about the direction they want to go in? Would you say go to college or take on an apprenticeship?
It really depends on what the young person is like. Personally I think that the apprenticeship is the best thing to do because you are getting the best experience in the working world and getting paid for it. You are learning everything you need to get a proper job and that is what everyone wants. I am now ahead of anyone leaving college at 18.
How are you able to combine your working life with your band?
For an 18 year old, I feel I have so much on my plate. I know anyone taking on an apprenticeship has a lot on their plate with work and studying, besides that, I have a fully managed band called 11:11, which I have to put in full time as it is not a hobby, we are really busy gigging at the moment. Luckily in music they work at weird hours so we may work from 8pm till midnight and I won’t get home till 1am and still make it to work.
How do you juggle everything in your life?
I am very realistic, I know music is really hard and you need a backup plan, I know what to prioritise. My job is my main security, so I prioritise everything around my job. Luckily with my band I can work at nights and weekends.
I hear you are going to be the Apprenticeship Ambassador for Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service. Do you think it is something you would be good at?
I would love to be an ambassador as I don’t think I got off to a good start with the apprenticeship. I had just left college and felt it was unfair that we don’t get half term breaks or holidays, but as it went along I got used to it and realised I had to put in a lot of work. I have learnt a lot and improved since I have started my apprenticeship, I was nominated for Waltham Forest Council Apprentice of the Year Award, so it would be good to be the Apprenticeship Ambassador for the Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service.
Do you think the young people will listen to you?
Yes definitely. I feel I have a voice that is listened to, I live in the borough and have a following on social media, which is a good way to advertise and with people leaving school now it’s a good time to get the word out. I think you need one person to guide the apprenticeship in the right direction; I am the right age and know people of my age looking for an apprenticeship.
Carl has successfully secured permanent employment with Waltham Forest Adult Social Services.