7 January 2020

Ten local people who want to carve a career in construction were celebrating recently after successfully graduating from a training programme at Chesterfield College. The programme gave them the qualifications and experience they need to secure a job in the industry.

The Pathways4Life programme, designed by national maintenance and refurbishment contractor company Fortem in 2005, was delivered in Chesterfield last month in partnership with Chesterfield College, Job Centre Plus and Chesterfield Borough Council. The programme was driven by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning condition, designed to ensure local residents and businesses can benefit from new investment and development in the town.

The four-week programme, which gave many unemployed people the chance to retrain, was a mix of classroom lessons and work experience on local building sites. Participants graduated from the programme with an Asbestos Awareness Certificate, a CSCS card and valuable experience of working in a range of roles on building sites. Chesterfield College also helped the people on the programme to pass Level 1 qualifications in Employability and Health and Safety in a Construction Environment.

Christian Smallwood, a participant on the course, said:

“It’s been really beneficial to be part of this. The skills and qualifications it has given us on top of the experiences we have had are fantastic. I’ve tried to get into the construction industry before but this time I feel like I have come away with people management skills too. I have learnt so much that I can take away into my next career.”

Andy Green, Regional Operations Director from Fortem, explained why it was important for the organisation to develop and run training programmes like this.

“Our organisation has a genuine passion for leaving a legacy in the communities in which we work. Most of our work is on public sector projects and in social housing, so a lot of the people we engage with are in similar circumstances to the people who have come through the course today. Pathways4Life offers people a way into employment and that is why it is so important to us. We’ve equipped the people graduating from the programme with essential skills needed for a career in construction, and there could be opportunities for them on our sites in the future.”

Councillor Terry Gilby, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth from Chesterfield Borough Council said:

“As a council we are keen to support local people into local jobs and good careers through apprenticeships and training. When we receive a planning application for a large project it is fantastic to be able to work with developers, education partners and the Job Centre to give local residents the opportunity to get the skills they need. I am sure the people who have graduated from this programme will go on to good careers because of their experiences here.”

To find out more about courses available to help you get the qualifications you need to start a new career, contact the Workskills team at Chesterfield College on 01246 500701.

Thank you to Lisa Carne from Chesterfield College for submitting this news story. If you would like to share a news story from your organisation, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at media@skillsedugroup.co.uk