Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

Coast & Country, one of the largest housing and regeneration companies in the North East, has helped secure a job for one of its tenants at leading construction firm – Galliford Try – as part of its Forging Futures initiative.

Following his enrolment on the Forging Futures programme Simon Horton, 37, from Guisborough, is now working at a site in Spencerbeck, where purpose built housing is being built for people with learning disabilities.

Forging Futures is a unique venture between Coast & Country and its partner organisations that aims to deliver bespoke training and engagement opportunities to unemployed residents across Redcar and Cleveland. The three week course is designed to build self-esteem, confidence and provide the employability skills that will help get the unemployed into work.

Simon joined the programme having seen an advertisement at the Job Centre and enrolled on the seventh course of the project.

Over his three weeks, he worked through Maths and English booklets and was taught everything that someone looking to get into work should know; interview techniques, how to sell yourself and how to prepare a CV. Simon also successfully gained a SFEDI Level 1 Qualification in Self Marketing and Personal Enterprise from the New College Durham.

At the end of the course, Emma Tooth, a Community Investment Officer at Coast & Country, informed him of a work placement that had become available with Galliford Try Partnerships North and shortly after handing in his CV, Simon was shortlisted and successfully gained a placement there doing such work as general labouring and site welfare.

Simon said: “Forging Futures is a great programme. While the Job Centre teaches you lots of things that are very useful, Forging Futures takes the process to the next step.

“The people who run the course are always willing to go the extra mile. They run mock interviews and help you perfect your interview technique, so that you feel more confident going into an interview, which is half the battle for some people.

“I think the best part about Forging Futures is that they help you get relevant paid experience that puts you in good stead for the future. My placement with Galliford Try has taught me a great deal and I now feel confident that I could go onto any site and get straight to work.”

Mac Bell, site manager, said: “These placements are an excellent way back into employment. Although Simon had no previous experience in construction, he picks things up quickly and is very conscientious, hardworking and punctual – just what the site and any other workplace needs.

“I was happy that I was on the interview panel as I would be working with the successful applicant. I think a big part of getting a job is knowing how to put yourself across in the best possible way in an interview.

“Simon knew what we were looking for and made sure we knew that his skills and personality were perfectly suited to the role. I really hope Simon can move on to our other sites and continue to impress us.”

Everyone who completes the programme is given the opportunity to access hands on experience in the work place with Coast & Country or one of its partner organisations. These placements provide them with vital soft skills as well as first-hand experience of the workplace and most importantly,sector specific training aligned to the current jobs market – meaning that everyone who completes the course leaves with a much greater chance of securing a job.

The development at Spencerbeck is part of the Redcare extra care scheme being delivered by Coast & Country Housing and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, in partnership with Galliford Try. For more information please visit www.redcare-extracare.co.uk.