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Paving a way to a future

Daniel Sterling, who lost his job last November, has been re-training for the construction industry with Blackpool Build Up, a subsidiary of Blackpool and the Fylde College based on Princess Street, and has now secured work on the Rigby Road re-development scheme.
Daniel finishing off a piece of block paving.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
21-2-2013

Daniel Sterling, who lost his job last November, has been re-training for the construction industry with Blackpool Build Up, a subsidiary of Blackpool and the Fylde College based on Princess Street, and has now secured work on the Rigby Road re-development scheme. Daniel finishing off a piece of block paving. PIC BY ROB LOCK 21-2-2013

National education bosses have said the rest of the country should follow suit from a Blackpool work-scheme which has seen 3,500 unemployed people land jobs.

Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Build Up project has been highlighted as an example by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).

The training initiative has helped thousands of people on the Fylde coast land jobs in the construction industry, with many working on Blackpool’s big building projects including Talbot Gateway.

The official education body has published a six page ‘best practice’ guide which outlines how others could do the same as Build Up, which recently placed its 3,500th person in work.

The project has run for six years, helping unemployed people to develop work skills and go on to land sustained employment.

Darryl Platt, executive director of commercial development at Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “Build Up has exceeded all expectations and its success over the past six years is unprecedented.

“It’s fitting that Ofsted has published the good practice guide just as Build Up placed its 3,500th student into employment.”

The guide explains how Build Up responds to high unemployment in Blackpool and is now regarded by many Fylde coast employers as the go-to place for new employees.

It outlines how the project gets the long-term unemployed back in to work by improving their skills and setting high standards from the start.

Steve Clough, head of the College’s school of construction, added: “We set up our Build Up programme for people who have been unemployed long term, with few prospects of getting sustained employment because they do not have the very basic skills that employers need.

“We are confident that a good proportion of employment opportunities with the large contractors are filled by local people.

“This, in turn, is helping the regeneration of some of our most deprived areas.”

People joining the Build Up project are trained over eight weeks in skills such as brickwork, kerbing, concreting, drainage, cobbling, block paving, flagging and tarmacking.

Now Build Up is looking to move to new, larger site in the next year and to expand its courses to include industrial cleaning.

 

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