Teaching dry-stone walling
Building a future
Alan Torrance from Gillingham spent a year out of work trying to get into the buildings industry. Then he did a rural skills course and his life changed.
21 year old Alan is now a working full time as a carpenter. But to get to where he is now was an uphill struggle.
He said, "I had been trying to get work in the building industry but nothing was happening."
After a year of getting nowhere Alan signed up for a 'Get into' course run by the Prince's Trust and the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills at Farrington near Blandford and after that everything changed.
He was one of 13 people under the age of 25 to take part in a pilot course to learn sustainable building skills such as lime plastering and rendering, using cob, building with straw and basic carpentry.
He said, "I found the course really useful and motivating. I learned loads of new stuff and enjoyed working as a team.... All in all it was a great experience."
His new found skills in carpentry secured him some work experience and on the back of that he was offered a job.
The course relies on local employers being volunteer mentors to give youngsters such as Alan a chance. Companies are being urged to offer work placements as soon as the courses are finished so the students can gain valuable experience to stop their knowledge being lost.
Because of success stories such as Alan's the Princes Trust is now rolling out a series of 'Get into' rural building courses to be run by the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills for young unemployed people. Delegates don't need any previous qualifications or skills and all costs will be met by the Trust.
Centre director and tutor Rob Buckley said, "This is a great opportunity to educate the builders of the future and promote environmentally sound careers for local people."
The 'Get into' concept was devised by the Princes Trust when it became evident that young people wanted worthwhile jobs with career opportunities but felt held back by their lack of experience and qualifications.
last updated: 05/02/2009 at 14:14