Sarah Newton, MP for Falmouth & Truro is backing the initiative and attended the first site meeting last Tuesday where she gave the project her full support, “‘I am delighted to be supporting such a common sense idea, joint working between these organisations is going to benefit all involved and I am particularly pleased that the project is helping the young people of the Falmouth and Penryn area in developing their skills making them more employable”.
‘The Space’ has been an eyesore for Penryn for many years. It is currently used by children from Falmouth and Penryn for their ‘Saturday Club’ and during the week hosts the photography club, a local martial arts group and enthusiastic line dancers and yoga practitioners. The Space is managed by the Town Council committee headed up by stalwart Victor Tullin who has been an unpaid volunteer running The Space for the past 2 years.
Victor said “A couple of local businesses have already given their free support to The Space over the last couple of years including Blue Flame who have installed our pipes, meter and maintain our boiler annually and Fal Fire who give us a free annual inspection. As you can see though – we desperately need the wider community’s support – not just with fixture, fittings and paint but with volunteer manpower so that we can make The Space a more welcoming place for the people of Penryn & Falmouth”
Sue Bradshaw, Employer Adviser from Penryn Jobcentre has taken up the challenge she said “Last year we ran a short two week Sector Based Work Academy for unemployed people who wanted to gain a CSCS card to enable them to work on a building site. Even though all those who attended passed the test and gained their card with the support of Cornwall College a number of the course members failed to get a job due to lack of on-site experience – especially the younger trainees.
This SBWA starting on 16th April, 2012 will be taking the course even further. Working closely with Stephen Maunder, Construction Lead from Cornwall College we will spend the first two weeks concentrating on getting the 15 youngsters through the CSCS test at The Space centre. The last two weeks the trainees will be working on The Space using skills learnt. Another big difference will be the community support – Lucy Caswell, Community Project Manager from B&Q Penryn will be sending along a couple of ‘industry experts’ to the course to demonstrate their skills and support learners in a range of skills from plastering a wall to painting & decorating. Kier’s Building contractors who have been building student accommodation at Penryn train station have also agreed for a team of management staff to down tools and come up on site and lend their expertise to help the project on the strict agreement that Sue Bradshaw gets on her overalls and comes armed with a paintbrush too!
The course is being led by Cornwall Colleges’ master builder Stephen Maunder who said “This is just the sort of community project the college is keen to support. I’m delighted that we have agreed with the Jobcentre to support the trainees on site on completion of their course for a further two weeks to hopefully make an excellent start on transforming “The Space”. We are already negotiating a run-on course at the same centre to continue the good work as I believe the Jobcentre has a long waiting list of people young and old alike wanting to do the course”.
Sue said “I cannot tell you what fantastic support I have had from local businesses in support of this project. Everyone I have asked from WC Rowe’s to supply daily lunch to each of the 15 volunteer course members to Auto Graffiti of Falmouth for agreeing to supply new signage free of charge, Penryn Plastics for materials for the door canopy to keep waiting parents dry – but above all B&Q for agreeing to supply all the decorating materials and equipment to get this started!”
Sue Bradshaw is now looking for local building companies at the end of the course to come and meet the trainees/volunteers, have a look at the work they have personally done and hopefully be able to offer them paid work /an apprenticeship – Marnick Roofing have already signed up - If you can offer a position please contact Sue at the Jobcentre on 01326 434326.