John and Antonio’s Story

Two men standing in front of a backdrop. The backdrop has images of water on and says "AD Sprinkler Protection Ltd".

John, 25, from Bolton, struggled to find work after the death of his father leading to a prolonged period out of work.

Antonio Cabuderra, John’s manager, is a Section Manager at AD Sprinklers, an automatic sprinkler and fire protection systems specialist based in Denton.

Through their involvement in Greater Manchester Talent Match, John is now working at AD Sprinklers as a Trainee Design Engineer.

John’s Story

John at the Future Proof Assembly After leaving college with a Mechanical Engineering (HND) qualification, John’s life was put on hold to care for his father.

After his father died, John found that the gap between gaining his qualification and his latest work experience was a barrier to him finding work. “There was nearly a year’s period where I was caring and I didn’t have time or energy to look for work and then after that it was difficult.”

“Employers look at that gap and generally they won’t see really past that. They see the qualification, no full-time experience in the industry and they’ll bin your CV. It was very difficult to get interviews, to talk to anyone”.

John first got involved with Greater Manchester Talent Match through his Talent Coach Karen Salisbury at the Education Training Partnership. He had been interested in another project they had been hosting, but due to his financial situation at the time had not been eligible.

As part of his Talent Match journey, John took part in Future Proof’s Mystery Shopper workshops. Future Proof is a campaign run by Business in the Community, supported by Talent Match in Greater Manchester and back by City & Guilds Group. It aims to help businesses break down the barriers in their recruitment processes and create quality and accessible jobs for all young people

During the workshops, John joined a number of young people feeding back on the recruitment processes of a number of different businesses, including AD Sprinklers. Following the workshop, he was invited to attend the Future Proof Assembly to feed back the group’s findings to businesses across Greater Manchester.

It was at the Future Proof Assembly where John met Amanda Ball, CEO at AD Sprinklers. After a brief chat, she offered him the opportunity to submit his CV. Less than a month later, John was working as a Trainee Design Engineer at AD Sprinklers.

John said, “It’s a really varied job. This week, I’ve been on-site, designing sprinkler systems, placing orders, talking to clients and fitters to resolve issues and sourcing materials. Even now, I have a decent amount of responsibility and autonomy, although I have the support I need from my manager as well. As I progress, there will be an aspect of project management to it too.”

Antonio’s Story

Antonio at AD SprinklersSeven years ago, John’s manager Antonio Cabuderra was working in the position John is now. He is now a Section Manager at AD Sprinklers with responsibility for a team of engineers.

AD Sprinklers is committed to growing its workforce by employing talent from all areas of society. They have been involved in Greater Manchester Talent Match for over two years, taking part in employers’ group meetings, offering advice to young people and offering opportunities.

Antonio stresses the importance of bringing young people into their organisation, he explained, “Our sector has massive skill shortages due to the rapid growth of construction and the number of engineers that have retired.

“The recessions have stopped companies investing, resulting in a lack of people with those qualifications and experience. The only way of addressing these issues is to bring in young talent.”

As part of their commitment to supporting diverse talent into their workforce, they support their local communities by engaging in ventures such as the Primary Engineer programme in local schools and the Talent Match programme.

Antonio continued, “As part of our philosophy, we regularly employ apprentices, working with the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association 'skills for learning’, who are trained in house by the whole team, in an industry where learning and training is paramount to gain the right skills. We are keen to bring in young people, develop their skills and keep them in the organisation as they progress.”

On John’s progress at the company, Antonio said, “John is excelling in all departments, learning fast, keen to progress and take on anything required.”

The AD Vision Statement is: Working together as a motivated team, to grow and excel through training and constant development, in order to provide a quality service, unrivalled by others.

Antonio says this summarises the approach the company has to their employees. He said, “We are always looking to bring in new young staff such as John. We want to provide them with the opportunity to succeed in a career which can be very satisfying and enjoyable. John’s future at AD seems very promising.”

Read more stories from people involved in Greater Manchester Talent Match by clicking here.