Job seekers brush up new skills with community centre makeover
A COMMUNITY centre is being given a makeover by job seekers aiming to build a new future for themselves in the construction industry.
Everyone benefits from the work being carried out at the Community House on the Chester Avenue estate in Kinmel Bay.
It’s being done by people taking part in the Passport to Construction courses being run by Creating Enterprise which is a subsidiary of the Cartrefi Conwy housing association who manage the estate.
Sprucing up the centre is part of the course that’s designed to help them gain accreditation to secure jobs in the building industry.
The programme has received £23,800 in funding from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, via its Conwy Skills and Employability Project for Recovery and Growth.
The courses involve practical on the job training plus workshops geared to boost general employability through working on preparation of CVs, interview techniques and matching candidates with potential employers.
They are open to men and women of different abilities, ages and backgrounds.
One of the key goals is to encourage more women into construction jobs, which in the past have typically been seen as an all-male domain.
Similar schemes last year helped 100 people go on to find more permanent work, and in 2022 Creating Enterprise hopes to increase that number.
Job search coordinator Nicola Jones said: “One of the great things we offer is the chance for participants to obtain a CSCS card – a Construction Industry Training Board health and safety test and certificate.
“This accreditation is a vital first step and a gateway for anyone hoping to get into the construction sector. Most employers demand that anyone they recruit has passed the test and got the card.”
“We recently ran a construction skills course specifically for women which was really successful.
“It is important to remember that these days the construction industry has a wide variety of opportunities for all gender identities.
“Employers are keen to increase awareness among women that these kinds of jobs are open to them.”
Among those providing a guiding hand at the Community House was Lucy Davies, 34, a painter and decorator who took up the profession after having had two children.
Lucy, who works for painting and decorating firm Bell Group, said: “I only got into painting and decorating after I had my two kids when I was aged 28.
“I never expected to get into this type of work years ago but I started with some work experience and it was the best move I ever made. I love it and I’m so full of enthusiasm.
“I’m keen to get the message across to all the course participants that they can also train up and find work in this field. There are so many different opportunities available if they have a bit of expert guidance and know where to look. I recommend it 100 percent.”
Among the people on the course is Cameron Jackson, 18, who feels it greatly boosts his chances of finding work.
On leaving school Cameron went to college but left before achieving his full qualifications.
He said: “I love painting and decorating but the academic world was just not for me. I would much rather find an apprenticeship position and learn while working.
“Nicola and the Creating Enterprise team have been brilliant, finding me a place on this course and encouraging my ambitions.”
Nicola explained: “We tailor our service to suit people’s different needs and we offer one to one follow up sessions to monitor their progress.
“Our aim is help them find a position that they are going to be happy in, so ultimately they have a realistic chance for long term career development. We stick with them until we have achieved that aim.”
“It is part of Cartrefi Conwy’s mission to help its community members in different aspects of their lives, not just in provision of living accommodation.”
She added: “This project has the additional benefit of brightening up the Chester Avenue Community House which is a base for so many local groups.
“It is used for everything from cooking classes to play schemes and drop-in advice services.
“The decor was looking a bit tired after so many years of activities so we decided it would be a great idea to freshen it up.”
Creating Enterprise training and development coordinator Richard Chance said: “We are having increasingly positive results thanks to the hard work put in by Nicola and her team and our contractors like Bell Group.
“We are currently drawing up plans for more courses in the future and we are keen to hear from any of our tenants plus who are keen to take part.”
“As well as helping people find jobs, we want to help employers find staff, so if you’re an employer reading this and you want help with recruitment, please get in touch too, we can sometimes offer a jobs matching service”
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