Building up jobs for Fylde

Build-Up's Roberta Austin with  Richard Wright from Eric Wright Construction (top left) and some of the apprentices taken on thanks to the course at Blackpool and the Fylde College.

Build-Up's Roberta Austin with Richard Wright from Eric Wright Construction (top left) and some of the apprentices taken on thanks to the course at Blackpool and the Fylde College.

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The manager of a training centre says she is determined more Fylde coast workers will be taken on for future building work locally.

It comes as a teenager has become the landmark 4,000th worker to be taken on via Blackpool-based construction training centre, Build Up.

Apprentice painter and decorator Conan Newsham, 17, from Fleetwood, has been taken on as an apprentice in Fleetwood by housing provider Regenda, after completing his first year on a painting and decorating course with Build Up, which is part of Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The agency works with the college in providing training specifically for the construction industry.

Among those who previously found work through the scheme were those involved in the construction of the sea defence projects at Blackpool, Anchorsholme and Rossall.

Build Up now plans to join forces with Regenda on the housing group’s new £8.5m care home for the elderly, which is to be built on the site of the existing facility at Wansbeck House, on Chatsworth Avenue, Fleetwood.

Wansbeck House is set to be demolished later this year to make way for the larger facility, and Build Up will work with Regenda in efforts to secure construction jobs for people from the Fylde coast who are currently being trained up.

It is all part of Regenda’s extensive regeneration scheme on Fleetwood’s West View estate, aimed at improving life for residents.

Roberta Austin, Build Up centre manager, said: “We’re looking to get more people from Fleetwood and the rest of the Fylde coast taken on in forthcoming construction schemes across the Fylde coast.

“We won’t stop at the four thousandth person.”

And Tracey McNamara, Regenda’s community development manager on West View, said: “It’s wonderful that Conan has found work, and we hope other people can benefit from our on-going regeneration plans on the West View estate.”

Conan, who will be working for Regenda’s maintenance wing, M&Y, said: “It’s great just to get this opportunity.

“This is a proper paid job and just what I was hoping for after doing my training.”

Build Up was financed for the first four years by Blackpool Council to try and get more young people from the resort back into work.

But when that four-year agreement ended in 2012, Blackpool and The Fylde College agreed to adopt and fund the programme, and opened up opportunities for people in Wyre and Fylde too.

Now Build Up has just moved out of its South Shore base to new premises on Kincraig Avenue, Bispham.