Doncaster career changing students given a helping hand

New Career Skills students at Lincoln Gardens, Doncaster.
New Career Skills students at Lincoln Gardens, Doncaster.

A South Yorkshire housing company is giving work experience to adults changing career later in life.

Lovell, part of the £2bn Morgan Sindall Group, is working in partnership with New Career Skills, which specialises in retraining mature career changers for careers as plumbers and electricians among other roles.

As part of the agreement Lovell has pledged to provide work experience for New Career Skills’ students, whose ages range from their 20s to 60s, at its sites in Doncaster.

It has just taken on four students, who will all get vital hands-on experience at one of its projects in Hyde Park near Six Streets.

Among the first to benefit will be 43-year-old Patrick Covell from Doncaster.

He said: “New Career Skills has been great in setting up this work experience opportunity for me - they’ve done a lot more than just teaching me the theory and making sure I pass my exams. That extra support to help get work is important, particularly now with the jobs market being so competitive.”

Also lining up for some hands-on experience is former professional footballer Ian Banks from Branton, Yorkshire.

Ian played for West Bromwich Albion, among other clubs, before hanging up his boots and working as a financial adviser in recent years.

42-year-old Daryl Pike, from Hungerford in Berkshire, worked as a temp before retraining with New Career Skills and hopes to set up his own business when he qualifies next year.

Completing the first wave of work experience students is 41-year-old Sharon Edwards from Ripon in Yorkshire.

Currently working as a care assistant, she is taking part in the scheme in order to stand out from the crowd when she qualifies and starts looking for plumbing work.

Lovell says it is important to provide opportunities to people of all ages who are looking to get a job or further their careers, particularly in the current economic environment.

Sharon Tyer from Lovell, said: “It’s very easy for companies, particularly when time is tight, to sit back and hope that schools, colleges and training firms will do the work for them and develop the next generation of enthusiastic and talented employees. However, we’re different and know that to get the best from people, you must also invest. That’s why we were delighted to lend our support to New Career Skills’ work experience programme and play a very real part in training the next wave of electricians and plumbers. Giving mature learners the same opportunities as young people is very important and we know the students we have met today have bright futures ahead of them.”

Steven Wines, Chief Executive of New Career Skills, added: “The slow-down in the economy has generated a 15 per cent increase in the number of people contacting us looking to retrain for a new career as a domestic plumber or electrician. Traditional trades are seen as a safe harbour in difficult times because much of the work undertaken, principally maintenance work, cannot be put off. And as things pick up, people who have retrained are well placed to take advantage of better times.”

To find out more about retraining with New Career Skills call Freephone 0800 037 9934 or visit