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Harbour Way provides a route to sustainable employment for Neath Port Talbot residents

15 March 2013

Costain and South West Workways have forged a successful partnership to help 40 residents of Neath Port Talbot find sustainable jobs working on the construction of the Harbour Way link road.

Eric Doherty, Andrew Taylor and Neil Rees are just three of the people Workways and Costain have helped back into full time employment.

Workways, a Neath Port Talbot Council led employment project, is supported by the European Social Fund whilst Harbour Way is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government.

Since being employed by Costain, the trio have received further training to bolster their professional development including courses in health and safety, traffic marshalling and CSCS site safety. Eric has also begun studying for an NVQ level 3 in site management whilst Andrew is starting an NVQ level 2 in construction operations.

27 year old Eric Doherty from Lower Brynamman signed up to Workways in January 2012. Having been out of work for a couple of months, he felt he needed a chance to prove how competent an employee he could be. With the support of Workways, Eric got his opportunity through a temporary job at Costain. As a result of his attitude, he was offered permanent employment as a site labourer.

Eric said “Workways offered me help, guidance and support. Being back in work has given me my independence back. I’d like to thank my line manager at Costain, Mark Blackburn, for having faith in me and taking me under his wing.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Taylor from Melyn was concerned his literacy skills were holding him back in the employment market. Having completed a confidence building course with Workways and impressed during a temporary contract at Costain, Andrew was offered a permanent position over 2 years ago. He is still enjoying his work as a site labourer.

He said “Having a job has made a big difference. It means I’m not skint anymore so I can afford to take my kids out and treat them a bit.”

Lastly, 55 year old Neil Rees from Ystradgynlais had been out of work for 2 years before signing up to Workways. In a competitive job market his age and lack of qualifications were counting against him. Neil has now been employed by Costain for over a year.

He said “It’s fantastic to have a job again. I’d been putting job applications in everywhere with no luck and I was finding it soul destroying. Workways really came up trumps for me.”

 

Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said “It is fantastic to hear more good news of people finding sustainable jobs through the Workways project. Creating local job opportunities is a key priority for the council so it is vital that we maximise the benefits of large projects such as Harbour Way.”

 

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Eric Doherty

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