After being made redundant from his job in retail, a man from Salford has retrained for a career in construction as a joiner.
After 12 years in retail, Anthony Fernley, 34, is enjoying a new career in construction, working on the refurbishment of the Pendleton estate, owned by Salford City Council and managed by Pendleton Together.
Alongside on-the-job training, Anthony is working towards his Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeship on day release at Salford City College.
Comparing retail to construction, Anthony said: “It feels like a more worthwhile job as I think I am learning more skills which will benefit me throughout life.
“It is more interesting as I am constantly learning on the job and the hours are much better, I am home for a good time each evening.”
The apprenticeship is part of the government’s National Retraining Scheme pilot, aimed at supporting those out of work or at risk of redundancy.
Funded by the Construction Skills Fund, a key building block of the Construction Industry Training Board’s skills stability plan for the post-COVID construction industry, the pilot is being delivered by Re:vision, the charity arm of Procure Plus.
Anthony was referred to Re:vision by The Broughton Trust, a local employment group, after completing his Construction Supervision Fundamentals course.
After working with him on interview techniques, a mentor from Re:vision put Anthony forward for an interview at Trueline Construction, the contractor working on the Pendelton estate refurbishment. Following an interview and work trial, Anthony was offered the job.
As the retail sector continues to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers will be facing a similar fate to Anthony. He hopes his story will inspire others to try something new.
“Just try it,” he says. “What do you have to lose? People should be willing to try anything at the moment. You don’t know whether you like something or not until you try it, and it could benefit your lifestyle more.
“I had no hesitations about moving into construction, and I have no regrets.”
Anthony’s is one of up to 100 jobs expected to be created in construction and beyond this financial year through the partnership between Procure Plus and Together Housing, Pendelton Together’s parent company.
Together Housing Group is urging the government to put homes at the heart of its plan for social and economic recovery from the Coronavirus crisis.
Kevin Ruth, deputy chief executive of Together Housing Group, said: “Investing in social housing will help the country recover from this crisis by boosting the economy, creating jobs, and improving people’s lives when our nation needs it most.”
Pendleton Together manages 1,250 refurbished homes on behalf of Salford City Council as part of a £650m government-backed regeneration scheme.
Image: Anthony Fernley
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