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Painting and Decorating Employability Training Workshop at Lakes College

Lakes College have been working in partnership with not-for-profit housing provider Home Group and their Painting and Decorating contractor, Bell Group to give unemployed people in the local community the opportunity to participate in a painting and decorating job creation scheme.

A three day taster event was delivered to provide advice and guidance on interview techniques with Inspira and practical activities in the painting and decorating workshop in the Construction Skills Centre.

The participants that took part in the scheme studied towards an NCFE Entry Level 3 Certificate in Employability. After classroom based workshops, mock interviews and hands-on tasks, the students were then given the opportunity to complete a two week work placement with Bell Group and Home Group, who are offering two of the candidates an Apprenticeship at the end of the fortnight.

With an influx in new housing builds across West Cumbria, painters and decorators will be in demand over the coming years.

Sam Wroe was one of the participants in the taster sessions. He said: “I was studying music at college but decided that it wasn’t the right path for me. I was interested in learning a trade, so when I heard about this event I thought it would be a great way to learn new skills and get a head start in finding an Apprenticeship in a more practical industry. It’s been really beneficial and I’ve learned a lot in a short space of time.”

Andrew Ferris commented: “I originally thought that Apprenticeships were for school leavers and didn’t think I would be eligible, however after talking to Ewanrigg they told me anyone at any age can train, so I was really enthusiastic to attend the taster days at the college.

“I have previously worked in the painting and decorating industry but I have never been properly trained with a qualification, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity for me.”

Lyn Osbaldeston, Employability Officer at Lakes College added: “This was the first joint delivery of a project between the college and Home Group and Bell Group, who are very forthcoming in investing in the local community.

“We therefore decided that a project such as this would be an ideal experience for unemployed people to gain valuable skills for securing jobs in the future, while learning more about the painting and decorating trade.

“Both companies have provided an incredible amount of support and have offered some potentially life changing opportunities. It has been a hugely successful venture and we hope we can continue to deliver more in the future.”

Home Group, one of the UK’s leading housing and care providers, has more than 55,000 properties on its books and provides care and support services for over 30,000 people.

Heather Liddle, employability business partner at Home Group, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this project and wish all involved every success for the future.

“We are committed to apprenticeships to equip people with the skills they need for career success as well as working with our contractors who have an agreement with us to provide apprenticeship opportunities.”

David Bennett, Bell Group Branch Manager quoted “Being a family owned and operated business, providing apprenticeships for customers within the communities where we work is very much a part of our core values and company culture. I believe that this collaboration between Bell Group, Home Group and Lakes College will open doors and provide opportunities to all participants.  Both Bell Group and our partner Dulux Paints have been delighted to be involved in this project to offer free training with the possibility of securing an Apprenticeship with Bell Group.”