Twenty four year-old para-athlete Jack Wilson has found success both on the badminton courts and in his career through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme with ALS Training.
Jack discovered ALS and the Jobs Growth Wales scheme through his local job centre whilst searching for a position that would fit around his training. After deciding that work-based learning was for him, he successfully secured a position with JBC Nutrition in Newport as a Store Assistant, where he has now been offered a permanent role.
“Jobs Growth Wales appealed to me as I could earn whilst gaining on-the-job experience as well as fitting the job around my badminton training. My day to day role involves advising customers, helping them to choose supplement products based on suitability, and their fitness or body goals.”
Despite feeling out of his comfort zone when he first started at JBC Nutrition, Jack’s confidence has increased hugely and he is now thriving in his role:
“Before starting with JBC Nutrition I didn’t know much about supplements but I was really interested in learning more, especially being an athlete myself. I’ve pushed myself to be more outgoing as the role required, and my confidence and knowledge has grown a lot since.”
His employer JBC Nutrition has been very supportive of Jack’s badminton career, enabling Jack to fit his work around his badminton training.
“JBC are really supportive and I’m always able to work around my training schedule and competitions. It’s really helped me balance both parts of my life, though it did take some time getting used to. Now I make sure I carry my kit with me most days and make sure I eat before I train if I’ve been working to keep my energy levels up.”
Jack has seen sporting success on the Badminton courts, competing for Wales nationally since 2014 and internationally since 2015. He has also won numerous medals at the 4 Nations singles and doubles events (4 Nations is an annual competition between Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland).
“I started playing Badminton when I was 12 years old in the local village club and have played every week since. I just love playing badminton; I love how I can compete against able-bodied people, how hard I have to work, how high-energy it is and that I always have new goals to work towards and improve my game. That’s why it’s so great to be able to fit my job at JBC Nutrition around that.
“I’m proud to say I’ve won medals including a silver and bronze from the European Championships, gold in the Irish doubles and a couple of bronze medals in the singles in recent events. I recently flew out to Turkey to compete with Parabadminton GB, which was a great experience! I secured a win and had a bit of bad luck with the draw but I’m happy with my performance.”
Talking about what’s next after his Jobs Growth Wales placement, Jack said: “I’ve been offered and accepted a full-time role at JBC Nutrition which I’m really happy about and I’m also looking forward to my next badminton competition in Ireland in June; I’ve got a busy year with lots of events lined up.”
Vanessa Hope, Corporate Development Manager at ALS Training, commented: “Jack has come along leaps and bounds since starting his placement with JBC. His interpersonal skills have grown and developed and it’s fantastic to see him showing such fantastic progression.”
Jack is also currently fundraising to support his training for Toyko 2020. To find out more about Jack's journey and how you can support him achieve his dream, click here.
Inspired by Jack’s story? All our training programmes enable you to earn and learn on the job, equipping you with essential sector-specific skills. If you’re 16-24, living in Wales and not currently in employment, our Jobs Growth Wales opportunities could be right for you. We have loads of Jobs Growth Wales vacancies from top Welsh employers who are looking for candidates like you. Search and apply now.