July 6, 2016
Patricia is a poster-girl for the pre-employment training programme, and the construction industry in general. A Wandsworth-resident all her life, the 50-year-old teaching assistant & mentor had a life changing experience in Southside Shopping Centre over the summer.
Says Patricia, “I was doing some shopping at Southside with my sister and happened to come across the Wandsworth WorkMatch Roadshow. I was curious. Construction was an early career aspiration of mine but I had my kids and put it to the back of my mind. The team at WorkMatch told me that it wasn’t too late, which was fantastic news! I never thought that I’d be able to enter the world of construction, and especially not now: because I’m a woman and because of my age.
“The Workmatch team formally interviewed me, I had to do some pre-tests including numeracy and literacy. I started the pre-employment training course in September at South Thames College, in partnership with Mainport [the vocational training centre].”
What followed was an intensive three weeks of training, both practical and theoretical in nature. Practical experience included sessions on first aid, carpentry, traffic marshalling and PASMA training – towers for users. There were more tests. Lend Lease Group delivered a presentation about the real opportunities in the industry and gave the trainees a feel for the different roles available. Patricia is nothing but enthusiastic: “I especially enjoyed the towers – they were the most difficult. Everything was a challenge. It’s not just about what you learn it’s about establishing the right attitude – motivating each other, getting there on time; it’s a bit of everything.”
Patricia explained that of the ten individuals on her course, all finished. So what next?
“The CSCS card is especially exciting: this is my ticket into the construction industry. I would like to go into carpentry. I am currently talking to Workmatch about an opportunity that sounds exciting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!” – Patricia Pollock
Good luck Patricia!