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Cementing their future: West Gorton residents kick-start their construction careers

Residents from West Gorton in Manchester have paved their path to work in the construction industry by completing a Construction Skills Certification Scheme at Connell Gardens, a new homes development in the area.

The pre-employment scheme included health, safety and environment awareness training and practical skills training in plastering, joinery and tiling.

The programme was organised by the homebuilder Keepmoat Homes, the anti-social behaviour reduction charity Mancunian Way and Guinness Property, an in-house maintenance service provided by the Guinness Partnership.

The candidates were of different ages, from 17 to 50, with some individuals taking on the course whilst facing personal challenges, including unemployment, low confidence and health issues.

Each of the candidates has said that they will now pursue a career in construction, and all have applied for apprenticeship places with Guinness Property.

Following the success of the programme, Guinness is looking to work in partnership with Keepmoat Homes to run further Kickstart sessions as part of its Women into Maintenance initiative, which aims to increase the number of women working in trade.

Julie Baker, Social and Economic Impact Manager for the North West at Keepmoat Homes, said: “The candidates have undertaken training based around the skills required by employers in the construction industry, which will equip them for the future. We have seen each of the candidates flourish on the course and are proud of their achievements.

“It’s really important to us at Keepmoat Homes to support the communities in which we work. Providing training for local residents is one way for us to do this. When we have an ongoing development we make the most of it by providing courses and site visits, as we have done at Connell Gardens.”

Kickstart candidate Mark Hampson said: “I have loved being on the kick-start course and meeting everyone involved. I have more confidence as a result of the programme and I am now happy with my CV.”

Paul Roberts, Executive Director of Guinness Property, said: “It’s exciting to see what we can do to create opportunities for people in the local community, working together across Guinness and with external partners.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our inaugural Kickstart graduates - having a trade is such a great career foundation.

“I hope the current successful candidates are the first of many and we look forward to extending this scheme to support our Women into Maintenance initiative.”

Nick Buckley, CEO at Mancunian Way, said: “Our team went onto the streets to engage the community and to find the individuals who wanted employment but were struggling due to confidence or had given up trying through a lack of help.

“With a hand up, they have all excelled and now have the skills needed to find employment in the construction industry.”