Chesterfield News

NLT throws a lifeline to Chesterfield youngster whose army career dreams were cut short by COVID-19

A young man who had has dreams of a career in the Paratroopers cruelly cut short by the pandemic, has been put on a new employment path thanks to NLT Training Services’ Step Into Employment programme.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Gaynor from Ashgate in Chesterfield left school last year to join the army as a junior soldier at the Army Foundation College (AFC) in Harrogate. Unfortunately, COVID outbreaks and subsequent quarantining meant his platoon missed weeks of vital training, so were set home.

Returning home, Josh struggled to get employment so enrolled on NLT’s Step Into Employment programme. Through the free six-week programme he is now undertaking vital work experience at The Kelstedge pub on Matlock Road.

Although the pub is closed during lockdown, it is doing takeaway food Friday to Sunday each week. Josh has joined the kitchen team on a part-time basis and is helping with meal preparation.

Josh commented: “I was gutted to leave AFC Harrogate but I am very relieved to be able to start something new. I am finding it really fun at The Kelstedge. I am working with a good set of people.”

Once the pub fully re-opens landlord and owner Simon Oxspring hopes to offer Josh paid employment and a permanent role on the team.

He commented: “Not knowing what demand would be like when we launched our takeaway service, the Step into Employment programme was an excellent way for us to provide someone with much-needed work experience and also determine whether we would be in a position to create a new salaried role.

“Josh has really impressed us and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the team permanently once we are allowed to re-open fully.”

Prior to undertaking work experience at The Kelstedge, Josh received employability coaching at NLT’s offices in Brimington. This enabled him to compile his CV and also look at areas that best matched his skill set and interests. After receiving the offer of work experience, Step into Employment funded the completion of Josh’s Food Hygiene certificate to ensure he was work-ready.

NLT Training Services launched the free six-week Step Into Employment programme last year following the award of a Community Funds Grant.

Prioritising 16 – 24-year-olds, a group which has seen the biggest rise in unemployment since the pandemic, the programme is open to anyone who is currently not in employment, education or training.

Step Into Employment covers a number of practical work-ready skills, including CV preparation, interview techniques, cover letter writing and job search support as well as work experience at local companies operating in a range of sectors.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with the Step into Employment programme, please get in touch with Janice Parker on 07947 550 571 or email

NLT Training Services supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Josh Marsh

Destination Chesterfield Coordinator (Investment and Marketing)

Email Josh

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter