City of Wolverhampton unemployed residents are celebrating landing jobs in the construction industry after successfully completing a training course.

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Darren Hawkins, 27, of Lanesfield, Ben Kedzierski, 22, of Bilston, and Ileana Petre, aged 47, of Penn Fields, were part of a group that picked up qualifications from the Pathways into Construction programme.

Leading construction company, Speller Metcalfe, provided work placements to all the trainees on the council's essential repairs and maintenance works programme at the Civic Centre, known as the Future Space project.

Ileana, Darren and Ben have now been given work with Speller Metcalfe and their sub-contractors on the same project, while other participants in the programme have either gone onto further training or secured employment elsewhere.

Darren said: "The training programme got me out of a rut.

"I saw the course promoted on the Wolverhampton Today Facebook page, started within a week and it's been great ever since, and given me confidence.

"It's a new start for me and I'm hoping to be a qualified pipe fitter in a couple of years."

Angela McKeever, City of Wolverhampton Council Head of Skills, said: "Once again the Pathways into Construction programme has proved to be an excellent model for delivering qualifications and work experience to prepare unemployed residents for a career in this growth sector of the economy.

"It is also pleasing to see the programme delivering opportunities for women in the construction industry."

Alex Garwood-Gowers, Project Manager at Speller Metcalfe on the Future Space project added: "We are delighted Speller Metcalfe could offer work placements to the trainees as part of the Future Space project.

"This has been a really successful scheme for Speller Metcalfe, and following its completion we are delighted that 3 of the participants have been taken into full time employment. Ileana is with Speller Metcalfe, while Darren and Ben have been taken on by our sub-contractors Dodd Group and Fairway Interiors, respectively."

The Pathways into Construction programme gave trainees the opportunity to gain work related qualifications, try out different trades and practical work experience on a construction site.

The programme was organised by City of Wolverhampton Council's Economic Skills team in partnership with City of Wolverhampton College, Wolverhampton Homes' Employability team, and Jobchange.

The trainees completed and gained qualifications including Level 1 in Multi Skills, Level 1 Health & Safety in the Construction Environment, Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS card), asbestos awareness and manual handling.

  • released: Wednesday 10 May, 2017