Providing the tools for jobs

Michael Driver with assessor Mick Hill (right) and tutor Martin Buckley.
Michael Driver with assessor Mick Hill (right) and tutor Martin Buckley.

A YOUNG jobseeker says a factory training course he has been placed on is giving him essential skills for the workplace and real hopes of an interview.

Michael Driver has started an intensive production line training course with Hartlepool College of Further Education’s Work Academy.

The 20 year old, who is one of the faces of the Hartlepool Mail’s Work in Progress campaign, which aims to highlight the plight of the unemployed and help people into work, spent all of last week taking part in the classroom-based part of the course and learning employability skills.

This week he has started the practical side and says he is enjoying getting to grips with the components on the assembly lines at the Offshore Training Centre, in the town’s Exeter Street.

Michael previously told the Mail how he had been feeling depressed after applying for around 200 jobs in the last 18 months since leaving college with an NVQ Level 1 in plumbing.

He said: “It’s been good, really helpful.

“The best thing has been just getting out of bed, for a start, and having something to do.

“It’s also bringing back skills that I haven’t used for a while and acting as a refresher.

“There is a more-or-less guaranteed interview at the end, which is a big plus.”

Michael, of Lanark Road, Owton Manor, added meeting people was also a positive and the course, which runs from 9am-5pm just like a full working day, was “totally different from normal life on the dole, just sitting at home”.

College bosses stepped in to help after the Mail linked up Michael and fellow jobseeker Graham Lyth, 50, from the Chester Road area of town, with Paul Marshall, the college’s business and workforce development manager.

He told the pair all about training opportunities and recommended the course.

He said it would particularly benefit Michael and he was swiftly placed on the programme, which has already seen 240 people complete it when it was previously held at a facility in Newton Aycliffe and saw 75 per cent given jobs.

Mr Marshall said: “Michael should be finished on the course after Easter and he will be one of 19 candidates who will be interviewed by interested companies over two days next month.”

Michael’s tutor on the course, Martin Buckley, said: “Michael has been doing well and is showing real enthusiasm.Employers really value the course.

“The assembly line part of the course is all about learning about the factory work ethic. We ran it at Newton Aycliffe and a lot of people got work out of it.

“It’s a really good course to have on your CV.”

Michael is also waiting to hear if he has been successful in landing a security job at this year’s Olympic Games after completing a training course with the college.