JACK Betts is turning his back on crime after training as a shipwright.
The 30-year-old, received a 12-month suspended sentence and 180 hours of Community Payback for an alcohol fueled assault. He is supervised by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC).
When Jack’s case manager, Julie Eden, first met with him, she found out that he was a skilled carpenter and saw that encouraging him to progress in this direction might help him to engage with probation.
Julie also found out that Jack’s family has a proud history of working on boats, and so she suggested that he look at doing a course run by the International Boat Training College (IBTC) Portsmouth.
Julie said: “I’m really proud of Jack. He’s shown great commitment to the course and is determined to work in the boat building trade.
“Not many people are able to make a career out of their passion, and it is my view that this is a life changing experience, not only for Jack, but also for his family.”
Jack said: “The boat building course is really good; I’ve learned lots and I’d like to be a tutor one day. My eldest son came with me on a work experience day and I’d love him to go into boat building one day.”
After successfully passing a four-day trial with IBTC Portsmouth Jack was awarded a Heritage Lottery funded bursary to cover his course fees and started the five-day a week course in June 2016.
However, after a few weeks, Jack found out that he was unable to claim benefits, and as a father of two, he needed to maintain an income whilst training. With Julie’s help Jack negotiated doing the course three days a week, so that he could work as a carpenter on other days.
Julie said: “Jack persevered with the course despite this set back. He came up with a workable solution rather than give up.”
“Jack also enlisted help from his mother and brothers. He’s showing a good deal of maturity and is a great role model for his sons.”
Jack said: “Probation has shown me that good things can come out of a bad situation. I say to others that probation staff are here to help. Sharing a bit about myself and my interests led to this course. It’s been the best thing that could have happened.”
Jack has already been applying for potential jobs. He said: “The tutors at the IBTC Portsmouth are brilliant. I’ve had lots of support from them and the office staff and I’m now friends with people on the course.
Jack also attended the Thinking Skills Programme run by the CRC. The Programme covers positive thinking, taking different perspectives and when to walk away from a negative situation.
“The Thinking Skills Programme has made a big difference to me, I now step away from fights. My focus is my family and working hard, I’ve no time for getting into trouble.”