Veteran gains valuable work experience

Careers

05.04.18

A forces veteran has been given the opportunity to learn a new trade thanks to Karbon Homes' Unlocking Social Value Project.

Plasterer in bathroom

Aaron Taylor (centre) pictured with Michelle Graham of Karbon Homes, Lorraine Hetherington, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Bell Group and Tony MacDonald, Senior Contracts Manager for Bell Group.

Aaron Taylor, 27, from East Stanley in County Durham has been working as a plasterer for growing landlord Karbon Homes.

The 20-week paid placement was sponsored by national painting & building maintenance company Bell Decorating Group Limited from their North East branch office. The company has been working alongside Karbon Homes in Derwentside and is part of a wider initiative to provide valuable work experience to residents by giving them the skills and experience to become employable and encourage them to find employment.

The Unlocking Social Value Project encourages Karbon's contractors to contribute time, money and expertise to local community projects where they are working.

Aaron served for two years in The Rifles of the British Army based at Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Edinburgh. After leaving the army, he secured a number of jobs before applying to study his Level 2 in Plastering at Derwentside College.

Karbon Homes has a long-standing relationship with the college, providing residents and students with a pathway into employment as part of its Brighter Futures employability service.

To gain valuable on-the-job work experience, Aaron volunteered to work at Karbon Homes for six weeks working within void properties as part of the Asset and Properties Services Team. During his time with Karbon, he used this opportunity to show willingness to learn and was offered a 20-week paid placement at the end of it.

Aaron said: "I'm really grateful to Karbon Homes and Bell Group for giving me this opportunity to get valuable work experience, which I hope will benefit me when applying for jobs in the future.

"When I came out of the Army, I secured a number of jobs but decided I wanted to study for a course in plastering. Learning the practical elements of the trade is one thing, but there is no better experience than learning on-the-job. I have been very fortunate to learn from experienced tradespeople within Karbon Homes and I hope I can take this forward with me in my future career."

Michelle Graham, employment initiatives officer at Karbon Homes, said: "Our aim is to provide a strong foundation to enable people to lead successful lives. We provide the foundations for our residents to gain valuable employment skills and experience to develop the life and careers they want. By working with our partners, the Unlocking Social Value Project enables those partners to invest back into the communities they serve, to benefit our residents.

"Aaron initially joined us as a volunteer to learn first-hand the skills needed to pursue a career in plastering. He showed willingness to learn and when this opportunity arose with Bell Group, we had no hesitation in continuing to help Aaron fulfil his career aspirations.

"Once again, he has proved to be a valuable and capable employee throughout the last few months and we would like to wish him success with his career."

Paul Aitkin, branch manager for Bell Decorating Group Limited, said: "As a business, we strive to create a legacy in the communities in which we work, either through work placement opportunities such as this or through assisting with client partners projects which make a positive and lasting contribution. We are delighted that Aaron has benefitted from such an opportunity and wish him well in his new career path."

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