St Helens Council says it is committed to helping residents into the employment and training opportunities generated through "major investment projects and the future regeneration schemes" across the borough.

It comes after a young aspiring plasterer, from St Helens, secured an apprenticeship after impressing bosses on a £3.4 million project.

Through St Helens Council’s Ways to Work programme – which he heard about through Universal Credit while looking for construction jobs in the area – Mark Owen, from Eccleston, was offered a six-month contract to work as a labourer for Seddon Construction, the contractor that oversaw the recent modernisation of St Helens Crematorium.


Ways to work

Carrying out duties such as assisting trades and keeping the site clean, Mark – who studied tiling and plastering at St Helens College – was even given the chance to try his hand at plastering which has led to the 22-year-old securing a plastering apprenticeship with Seddon for this August.

“Ways to Work was a good opportunity to get on a site – especially one on such a big scale – and see the different aspects of work carried out, particularly plastering as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Mark.

“I received so much support and It was great to be around so many skilled people who I got to learn from – and even got to do a bit of plastering myself which was brilliant.”

Latest success story

Praising Mark and the impact of the Ways to Work initiative – which since 2016 has supported more than 1,300 people into employment, training, and education – Cllr Kate Groucutt, the council’s cabinet member for economy, business and skills, said: “As a council we are committed to helping local people into the employment and training opportunities generated through major investment projects and the future regeneration schemes across the borough.

“It’s great to hear the positive feedback on our Ways to Work service, with Mark the latest success story on how the service is helping change lives.

“The team are ready to work with even more people like Mark to help them develop new skills and achieve their true potential, so if you – or someone you know – would benefit from this programme, please get in touch and the team would be more than happy to help.”

Ways to Work is designed to improve personal resilience and progress to sustainable employment for people over the age of 16 who are signed up to the programme which is part-funded by the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative Funding.