Free Construction courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) are paving the way to future careers.
The College offers short courses in bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing and painting and decorating throughout the year, which usually take place on one evening a week for up to six weeks.
Adam Sullivan, 33, who is attending a bricklaying course, is keen to move into the building trade having worked in road construction for several years.
“I wanted to decide what I was interested in rather than diving straight into a course, which can be quite expensive,” he said.
“Having a course in the evening meant I could fit it around my work as well.”
Joe Wright, 30, has been inspired to apply for an apprenticeship while on a carpentry course.
“I’ve been unemployed for a couple of years and I’m on a low income, so the fact the course was free was really appealing,” said Joe.
“Carpentry is a skill you can take anywhere in the world, and as soon as I heard about the apprenticeship I was on board. Hopefully, this is the start of a career for me.”
Mohamed Abdelfadel, 52, is completing a plumbing course and hopes to enter the profession.
“We’ve learnt a lot in a short space of time,” he said.
“People need plumbers, and there is a lot of work around. Next year I would like to do a higher level course.”
For others, like Natalie Galloway, 35, the decision to do a bricklaying course was not just about learning new skills.
“You can save money if you need a job done when you can do it yourself, so it’s more financially beneficial,” she said.
Elizabeth Minter, 53, who is studying carpentry is looking forward to using her new skills to build a lean-to at her home.
She said: “It’s been brilliant. It’s given me the confidence to know I can pick up a drill or a jigsaw and use it, rather than having someone else do it.”
- Last Updated: 07 January 2019