DIY Approach To Helping The Jobless

New skills being taught to local residents

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A building company is tackling worklessness and encouraging residents in Hanwell to learn new skills through an eight-week programme of DIY courses.

Kier Building Maintenance (KBM) London is working for Ealing Homes and teaching local people on Copley Close basic household maintenance. The DIY scheme has covered health & safety risk assessment, electrics, plumbing, tiling, carpentry, and will be covering painting and decorating skills.

Working with Ealing Homes - the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) which looks after 9,000 properties for Ealing Council - the students have worked with professional staff to bring an empty property up to a lettable standard.

KBM London also teamed up with Ealing Homes to make and provide a DVD for residents giving them hints and tips on how to do basic maintenance that their landlord is not responsible for.

Ealing has the highest rate of unemployment (10.4 per cent) and worklessness (36 per cent) in West London. Over 70,000 residents of working age in Ealing are not in employment, this represents over 25 per cent of all workless people in West London. KBM London in Ealing is aiming to help tackle this problem and provide the residents with transferrable skills useful in everyday life and to potential future employers.

KBM London client liaison manager at Ealing, Martin Clifford, said: “Worklessness is a real issue in our borough with many long-term unemployed. It’s vital these people have access to training such as this and we’ve been thrilled with the interest shown. Our group of participants is full of a diverse mix of nationalities, sexes and residents of differing ethic backgrounds who are all taking a real interest. I hope this provides them with life-long skills.”

“It’s been a great incentive for them to be working on a real-life project and seeing their DIY work going towards a tangible goal.”

Assisting with the course is Rom Parol, a supervisor at KBM Ealing who has wealth of knowledge to help teach the course. Also helping is voids manager Carl Lottering who also comes from a trade background with bags of knowledge and enthusiasm.

Rom said: “The course has been so popular with the group we are planning on doing a few extra weeks of lessons. It’s been great to see them embracing a new subject each week.”

Carl added: “Ealing Homes recently had its government audit inspection and this DIY project was used to demonstrate Ealing Homes and KBM working together to deliver projects to a diverse audience. The results of the inspection will be announced shortly with early reports looking very promising.”

23 August 2010

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