Mark Rise

Name of delivery partner: Matthews and Leigh
Name of participant: Mark Rise

How did Mark hear about the programme?

Mark found out about the programme via Jobcentre Plus in Chorley.

Behind the scenes

The project was set up by Matthews and Leigh in March 2017 and is funded by the ESF Access to Employment programme.

The project is aimed at addressing any barriers to obtaining employment in the construction sector, together with any gaps in knowledge and skills for learners to strengthen applications made for employment.

More specifically, the project aims to help learners ensure construction is the right vocation for them, develop their Health and Safety awareness and obtain a CSCS card as these are required in order for workers to access construction sites. The project is also aimed at improving learner’s awareness of working in construction, doing an apprenticeship and develops and demonstrates the skills that employers are looking for in their workers.

Mark’s journey

Mark had been unemployed for approximately 6-7 months prior to starting the programme. He had previously worked at Wellington Park in a Chef Assistants role but was made redundant from this position.

Mark wanted a new opportunity to develop a long term career and saw the advert for the project and the apprenticeship advertised via Matthews and Leigh Civil Engineering Ltd.

Barriers Mark had to overcome

When he applied to the project, Mark had been long term unemployed, so lacked any recent work experience to verify his work ethic and performance. Also, as Mark had been previously employed in a different sector, he did not have knowledge or experience of the construction sector or a CSCS card to access sites.

Mark needed to address these barriers in a short time frame if he was to secure a place on the apprenticeship he had applied for.

What interventions and actions did the project undertake with Mark?

The project offered Mark an opportunity to participate in an introduction to construction, firstly to ensure this was the industry for him to pursue a long term career. The project also offered Mark the opportunity to attend the Health and Safety Awareness course and sit a CITB Health and Environment test which is needed to obtain a CSCS card.

To further enhance his chances of securing an apprenticeship, the project offered Mark a chance to learn more about working in construction, what is involved in particular roles and apprenticeships. The project also offered an insight to what skills employers are looking for in their workers and to develop the skills he would need to demonstrate in final interviews.

The opportunity was also offered to attend a three week work placement to gain experience of working in construction and strengthen his chances of securing an apprenticeship.

How has Mark benefited from being involved?

Mark passed the Health and Safety Awareness course and the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test and a CSCS card was issued for him. Mark also gained valuable knowledge and developed his skills sufficiently to successfully complete a three work placement.

Due to the work Mark achieved on the project, Matthews and Leigh Civil Engineering Ltd offered Mark a place on a Level 2 apprenticeship in Construction Operations which started in April 2017. The apprenticeship is delivered in partnership with Preston’s College and Matthews and Leigh Training Ltd.

Mark completed his programme his summer 2018. Mark overcame various barriers to achieve the apprenticeship framework with the support of his employer, so much so that Mark won the 2018 Start Apprenticeship Award with the company to recognise the commitment and hard work he put in to completing the programme.

Mark remains with Matthews and Leigh Civil Engineering Ltd and has become an integral member of the construction team.

What skills has Mark learned?

Mark has had his eyes opened to work carried out in construction and the skills needed to build houses.

Mark has developed his knowledge of the structure of the industry, Health and Safety, drainage, concreting, excavation and reinstatement and flagging. Mark regularly uses these skills in the workplace.

What are the Mark’s future plans?

Mark wants to take further courses and tests for specialist areas such as confined spaces and obtain CPCS cards for forward tipping dumpers in the future to enable him to do more.

What did Mark have to say about the programme?

Mark says he is happy with the progress he made in such a short time and the opportunity the programme presented him to develop his career. He has enjoyed his apprenticeship.