From unemployed to self-employed in twelve months, how College helped unemployed man realise his dream
Thursday, 16 October, 2014

A year ago, twenty-five year old Daniel Barratt from Tile Cross in Birmingham was unemployed and after several years of working as a charity fundraiser, he was unsure what he wanted to do for a career. After signing on at his local Job Centre, Daniel asked his advisor what courses he could do to try and whet his appetite for a new career. This was when he was introduced to the Work-Ready courses run by Solihull College in partnership with Job Centre Plus.

Towards the end of the four week course, Daniel was enjoying learning about horticulture so much that he sought out advice from College staff to see if he could study it as a full-time qualification. Due to his dedication and hard work, he was warmly welcomed and proved himself to be a star student.
Daniel successfully completed the Level 2 Diploma in Land Management and achieved Distinctions for modules throughout the qualification, especially in Plant Identification, which is considered to be the most challenging of modules.

Since discovering his passion for horticulture, Daniel has set up his own gardening services business and regularly visits the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce through the Job Centre, for help with his business plan. Daniel comments: “€œI enjoy working outside and not being restricted to an office, I can add expression to my work. I’m really glad that I find it not only therapeutic but fascinating”€.

Alistair Fraser is a Land Management lecturer at Solihull College and not only accepted Daniel onto the Level 2 Diploma, but taught him. He comments: “€œDuring his studies, Daniel acted as a mentor, a source of support and motivation and guidance to a number of the younger members of group and I know that they hold him in high esteem. It is of no surprise that he has been successful in launching his Horticultural Enterprise as he is committed to hard work, attention to detail, quality, and providing what the customer wants”.

Within a year, Daniel has made the journey from unemployed and having no career direction to finding his passion and turning that into a business, he comments: “Studying at Solihull College has given me the skills and knowledge to work in the horticultural industry, it’s given me a lot of inspiration to succeed in a subject I’m passionate about and it’s given me the confidence I need to go and work for myself.
I have passed my driving test, bought a car and started advertising. Things are slowly taking shape and hopefully within the next twelve months I will have a comfortable amount of work”€.

To find out more about studying Land Management at Solihull College please visit www.solihull.ac.uk/horticulture or call 0121 678 7000.