FENLANDER: Free skills training in low carbon jobs for unemployed people

UNEMPLOYED people in Fenland and West Norfolk are being offered free training to help them find jobs in low carbon construction, a new and emerging part of the building industry.

A free recruitment service is also available to businesses in that sector that are seeking to recruit trained workers.

The two initiatives come from the SmartLIFE Low Carbon Skills for Work programme. A range of courses in the skills needed for low carbon construction are on offer, including solar heating and electricity, rainwater harvesting, roof/wall insulation, triple glazing and high-efficiency boilers.

The courses are particularly relevant for people with some experience as bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and gas fitters. But some are also designed for those with no such qualifications who would simply like to start a new career.

They are being offered at the College of West Anglia and Cambridge Regional College. They are free to people who are aged over 18 and currently unemployed or claiming disability allowance. There is a choice of short and longer-term packages.

The programme is led by SmartLIFE and supported by the colleges, Fenland District Council, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. It is funded by the European Social Fund and the East of England Development Agency.

David Arkell, SmartLIFE’s director, said: “This is another example of a partnership coming together to provide valuable training for those who most need it.”

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SmartLIFE is also offering a free recruitment service to businesses that are seeking workers with the right skills. Employers can get more information about the service by visiting the Boathouse in Wisbech on May 5 (4-6pm).

• For more details on training courses, call Adrian Key on 07733 102427 or Christine Chapman on 07771 778124. Employers should contact Louise Ebanks on 01223 418493 or visit http://www.smartlife.org.uk/free-recruitment