Building better lives for jobless

Unemployed builders have been given employment opportunities on the new CBD thanks to the Backpool Buildup project.
Unemployed builders have been given employment opportunities on the new CBD thanks to the Backpool Buildup project.
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EARLIER this year the future looked bleak for this group of tradesmen struggling to find work.

But 30 construction jobs have now been created on Blackpool’s new Central Business District project ahead of Christmas.

The Blackpool Build Up scheme - a training scheme which helps people get into construction jobs - has helped builders find jobs on the site, formerly known as the Talbot Gateway, in the areas around Blackpool North station.

The scheme’s success stories have described the way it has transformed their lives as “amazing”.

Ground worker Wayne Sanderson said he had spent three months on Jobseeker’s Allowance before inquiring about joining the Build Up programme.

He says the training and resulting job have given him a new lease of life.

Wayne, 40, of Kirkham Avenue, Marton, said: “I’ve learnt quite a lot of things and it’s been an enjoyable experience.

“I’m recommending the scheme to my girlfriend’s brother. He’s waiting to go on Build Up because it’s helped me.

“It gets you into the habit of getting up, going to work, and being ready and willing to do that.”

Wayne hopes his job will go further in future.

He said: “There’s no assurances of that but that’s all down to me and how I put myself out on this job. If I can do this at 40, anyone can.”

Labourer Dominic Avci, 23, had been unemployed for six months prior to joining the scheme.

He said: “It’s been great, as soon as I went into the project I enjoyed every moment of it. It’s amazing because I love work.

“When I was out of work I felt a bit lost but now I’m in work I’m happy again.”

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said it was great news for the resort.

He added: “I’m absolutely delighted these 30 Blackpool residents are now back in work and receiving training thanks to the project. In a week when gloomy unemployment statistics have been released this is fantastic news and shows there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Here we have 30 people in work and earning money in time for Christmas.

“There are a number of major construction projects taking place and due to start in Blackpool with the Talbot Gateway site and Rigby Road and Queen’s Park housing schemes.

“Not only will they boost the town centre economy and create new homes they are also generating much needed jobs for our residents.

“We know people want to work, they want to provide for their families and have a career and we want to help them achieve that.”

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