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Jobs building thanks to social housing

Steve Rich, John Hoffman, John Copping, and John Frances, Roberta Austin of Blackpool Build Up

Steve Rich, John Hoffman, John Copping, and John Frances, Roberta Austin of Blackpool Build Up

A partnership between Blackpool Build Up and Forrest – the social housing regeneration specialist – has helped three Blackpool tradesmen back into work.

John Hoffman, 33, John Copping, 34 and John Frances, 42, who all live in Blackpool, had been unemployed for most of 2013 and were struggling to find work.

They were offered a chance to enrol with Blackpool Build Up, a training and employment programme which offers opportunities to unemployed adults by retraining them in construction skills.

Now the men have all been taken on as trainee labourers and will be working on a housing refurbishment framework for Forrest on behalf of Blackpool Coastal Housing, carrying out balcony repair works and flat conversions across the housing provider’s stock.

John Frances, said: “It’s fantastic to be back in full-time employment again, and this contract means I’m able to work in my local area – something I’ve not been able to do for a long time.”

Blackpool Build Up centre manager Roberta Austin said: “What we offer are training opportunities that can lead to local jobs for local people, delivering true regeneration in Blackpool through these planned work programmes and keeping jobs within the community. Thanks to employers like Forrest we have helped almost 3,000 people back into sustainable employment since the centre was formed five years ago.”

Paul Rigby, learning and development manager at Forrest, added: “Forrest has a proud history of employing local people wherever we can.

“We’ve worked with Blackpool Build Up in the past and always find that we can count on the calibre of their trainees and are impressed by the knowledge they have gained from the centre.”

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