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David Collins image

Studied: Construction Gateway Scheme
Progression: Trainee scaffolder at Controlled Scaffolding

When David Collins was offered the chance to start training for a scaffolding career, he jumped at it.

For 12 months he had been struggling to get full-time work. With a family to support, he was keen to start a job with better prospects.

This ambition is now a reality through a role as a trainee scaffolder with Controlled Scaffolding, based in Aston, Birmingham.  As part of his new job, he will complete a Level 2 Scaffolding Apprenticeship qualification with Construction College Midlands.  Here, he has been carrying out repairs to their HAKI building; including replacing the roof.

“I’m happy with this mix of work and training,” said David.  “I’ll get to learn as I go along and can progress on to other scaffolding roles.”

He continued: “I’ve mainly worked in factories and warehouses until now, including some time at Jaguar LandRover until I was made redundant” said David.  “The pandemic changed the job market, making it harder to get stable employment.  I needed to find another way to keep earning long-term.”

David completed a four-week Construction Gateway programme funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.  It is designed to help the long-term unemployed take their first steps towards a career in construction; an industry creating up to 100,000 local opportunities for trained workers over the next 10 years.

The programme includes an interview with a recruiting employer.

“The training programme was great,” continued David.  “We covered health and safety, examined drawings of different structures and looked at how scaffolds are erected.

“At first I wasn’t sure about applying and being interviewed for an apprenticeship-based job.  I was concerned the wage wouldn’t be suitable.  But I was assured it would be similar to my previous income levels so there was nothing to stop me from going for it.

“I’m really happy I took this option.”