5,000 people now in work under project

(l-r) Ruth Peri, Blackpool Build Up manager Roberta Austin MBE, Owen ORourke, Laurie Lefeuvre and Martin Middleton
(l-r) Ruth Peri, Blackpool Build Up manager Roberta Austin MBE, Owen ORourke, Laurie Lefeuvre and Martin Middleton
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A Blackpool and The Fylde College project to help unemployed people secure careers in the construction industry has seen 5,000 workers find sustainable jobs.

The milestone was reached when Blackpool Build Up student Owen O’Rourke was employed by sub-contractor AJ Woods .

He has joined the groundwork team on the new Lancashire Constabulary Western Division Headquarters project, currently being developed by Willmott Dixon at Clifton Road, Marton.

The 23-year-old, from South Shore, Blackpool, said it had been his long-term goal to follow a career in the construction industry – and Blackpool Build Up had made his dreams a reality.

He added: “I was put in touch with Build Up by the Jobcentre in February and was put on a fast track programme so when the opportunity came up with A J Woods they put me forward for the job and I was on site by March. It was amazing.”

Blackpool Build Up is a unique training programme run by B&FC, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and local employers. S

et up in 2008, the programme targets unemployed adults from the Fylde Coast area and provides hands-on training in construction skills, as well as developing employability techniques.

Ruth Peri, Head of Construction at B&FC, added: “This project has been recognised nationally as providing real opportunities for people who otherwise might not have had them .”