We’re told ‘a picture says a thousand words’. But, this wonky picture of 12 people taken on the day they completed a two-week construction skills course sponsored by Capital Delivery’s Hinkley Connection Project (HCP), doesn’t come close to telling their story.
Without a job, Pete (not his real name) hasn’t been able to contribute to his children’s upkeep or see them for five years. His mum’s suffering from terminal illness and they don’t get on. He desperately wants to make her proud, to be part of his children’s lives and to get the family back together before it’s too late.
For him, the construction skills course, which is designed for long-term unemployed people, is a route into qualifications and a job that have eluded him. He’s already heard from a building firm with an opening in January. He’s hopeful, buzzing and determined to make the most of the opportunity.
Tim (not his real name) is in his mid-fifties. He had a career as an IT consultant until three years ago when he lost his job. He hasn’t been employed since. Getting back into the workplace has been a long slog of CVs and dead ends. This course has given him desperately needed confidence to work his way back to the life that he wants to lead.
The group met for the first time just two weeks beforehand. They all have a story to tell. They have all sought out the course and worked hard in a bid to improve their lot. They now have a network of peers that will help them find jobs.
I attended the session to take a picture and write up a case study so that I could promote the initiative in other areas affected by the project.
I came away with much more: The realisation that at National Grid we have the opportunity have a hugely positive impact on people in communities’ in which we operate. That looking beyond the technical side of our business enables us to become a truly purpose-driven organisation. That the job and social lives we build around ourselves are more fragile than we think. And, that to be able to pop into a shop and buy presents for loved ones this Christmas is a privileged position to be in.
HCP’s adult skills initiative won Chairman’s Choice Award 2019. If you’d like to find out how to organise it for long term unemployed in communities affected by your work, please get in touch with Matt Wooldridge in Capital Delivery’s External Affairs team.