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Published 30th Jan 2012

Jennina Barlow (JCP), Jill O’Donell (JCP), Paul Redman (Esh Construction), Steven McNamara, Andy Nicholas, Philip Jones, Dave Iv

Major work at a historic Middlesbrough park has opened the way for invaluable training for local people.

Thirty people registered with Middlesbrough Jobcentre Plus were selected to train in new skills in special courses funded and facilitated by Esh Construction, part of Esh Group, the contractors working on the Lottery-funded transformation of Stewart Park.

The group’s achievements were marked at a special certificate ceremony, at which it was revealed that some of those taking part had already found work and academic opportunities as a result of the training.

The scheme was set up as part of the £8 million Parks for People scheme administered by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

The project is transforming Stewart Park with the provision of a new visitor centre, education venue, shop, training workshops and public event spaces, with work due for completion in the Spring.

Lakes, paths and woodland areas are all being improved and many of the estate’s Victorian buildings are being opened up to the public.

A key part of the revamp has been an element of support and involvement for the local community, with employment, education and training opportunities woven into the bid.

The targeted recruitment and training programme was supported by Middlesbrough Council’s Economic Development Department. Jobcentre Plus identified the most relevant training to support unemployed residents in their search for employment and worked in collaboration with Esh Training Solutions - also part of Esh Group - and sister company to Esh Construction.

The construction-related training programme covered a number of areas including asbestos awareness, manual handling, fire awareness, health and safety and safe working at heights, all useful to those seeking employment in a variety of sectors as well as the construction industry.

Around 30 took part in the programme, with a number already having found work and one starting a university degree.

What people are saying

Paul Redman, Director of Esh Construction, who presented the group with certificates to mark their achievement at a special event at Jobcentre Plus in the town centre earlier this month (January 17), said: “At Esh Group we are passionate about supporting our region and its communities.

“Through our work at Stewart Park we are delighted to have created local training opportunities for local people and we are particularly pleased that this training has already led to some making progress towards employment.”

Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Streetscene Services, said: “Stewart Park is one of the jewels in Middlesbrough’s crown, and the Lottery project is transforming it for generations to come.

“Middlesbrough Council is also committed to supporting local employment and training through local schemes.

“That’s why the involvement of local people has been of paramount importance from the outset, and this project will have a lasting impact on a good many of them.

“Good, relevant training is more important than ever in helping people stand out from the crowd as they look for work, and I wish them all the very best in their future careers.”

How to get involved

Potential Developers are encouraged to contact Economic Development Officer Clare Elliott at Middlesbrough Council on 01642 729131 for help and assistance with the recruitment of new personnel and further information on training initiatives and potential funding contributions.

Useful links

Stewart park

Stewart Park on Facebook

Stewart Park Flickr

Heritage Lottery Fund project

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