I started working for Liverpool City Council through the Positive Action Training and Employment Initiative around March 2003 as a Trainee Fitness Instructor.

The Positive Action Training Programme was a ground-breaking community initiative and one of the Councils key strategies to meet the challenge of local unemployment, social exclusion and institutionalised discrimination.

Targeted at local unemployed black people and other groups, women, disabled people and hard to reach 18-24 year olds, it provided me with quality on and off the job customised training   in a NVQ Vocational area. Giving me at the time a nationally recognised fitness qualification.

Looking back this opportunity came at one of the hardest parts of my life, I had just lost my mum through lung Cancer and broken up from a 5 year relationship.

Leaving school without any GCSEs, I was told I would have little chance of finding employment.

My dreams had always been to work in the Fitness Industry with a Private or Public sector Gym operator.

Fast forward to the present period- I still work for the Liverpool City Council with over 16 years of service, am now working as a Facility Manager at one of the busiest Gyms within the City Centre.

Having taking numerous training courses around Health and Fitness during my 16 years’ service within Liverpool City Council.

Am also part of the Liverpool City Council Diversity Forum, which   is a consultation group for Council employees.

Staff on the Forum work collaboratively across the equalities agenda. The Forum is currently working with Learning and Development to look at career progression for (BAME Employees)

It’s the Diversity Forums intention to continue working with other colleagues to support an inclusive workplace culture where people and men from a diverse and range of identities and backgrounds feel able to perform at their best and progress in the organisation.

On International Men’s Day we should all commit to playing our part in tackling disadvantage and equality by recognising that every employee in the workplace should be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential at work regardless of their background.

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