Former Burnley man and Pendle Training apprentice forced to claim benefits after proof of engineering qualification was lost 20 years ago
and live on Freeview channel 276
Barry Wright says he completed an apprenticeship in 2000 through Pendle Training but did not receive his certificate of completion.
Despite having 23 years of experience in the field and receiving several certificates from Pendle Training, he was denied a job at a major firm earlier this year after discovering he lacked a specific document proving he had finished the course.
The 43-year-old is now calling on the Government to officially recognise him and anyone else in the same boat as qualified.
"I think it's disgusting. I'm amazed it's taken so long to come to light. A company has never asked me for [this specific certificate] before. I thought I had everything as I got loads of certificates through the post, and the employers I've had before have all been happy with them. One said he had never seen that many.
"It's good this current firm has asked for it as it wouldn't want to take people on who are just blagging it, but I'm not.
"Now I'm out of work and have money worries. I'm never going to be able to get a job at a top-tier company. I'm having to take one with lower pay."
Barry landed a new role in January at the same company he had previously worked for, albeit at a different site. He was waiting for a start date when he received an email saying the business required further proof of his apprenticeship. Despite sending off all his certificates, he was told he was missing the correct one and lost the position.
"I was gutted when they said I couldn't start the job without it. They said I'd have to do another apprenticeship, and I was like, 'Are you kidding? I'm 40-odd-years-old.'
"My time served is 27 years, including the apprenticeship. It's crazy because I have even signed off on work for other apprentices' certificates."
A spokesperson for Enginuity, the body that awards the qualifications, said it has a record of his registration on the course but not the issuing of his final certificate and that, for safety reasons, it cannot legally give him one without proof of completion.
“The team at Enginuity has the utmost sympathy for the situation Mr Wright has found himself in and the distress this has caused him."
Enginuity said it provided a letter to Barry for his prospective employer, confirming he achieved many parts of the qualification, and raised the issue with various educational and governmental bodies, but none could help. The Department For Education said any requests to replace certificates must come from Pendle Training.
“Enginuity has done everything within its legal power to find a solution for Mr Wright as we are keenly aware of the injustice he feels.”
Barry also said he rang Training 2000, which took over Pendle Training after it went bust, and informed him it had destroyed everything from the former company.
The dad, who urges anyone in the same position to contact Enginuity, said: "I gave up hope. I felt like I was being passed around and not getting anywhere.
"I'm alone in this: that's how it feels."