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Skilled tradesmen of the future get their first foot in the door

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Skilled tradesmen of the future get their first foot in the door


Published by Anonymous for Two Rivers Housing in Housing and also in Education

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Eleven young construction trainees from the Forest have got their first foot in the door at Two Rivers Housing Association’s exciting community regeneration project at Tufthorn Avenue in Coleford.  

Brick-layer Connor Kavanah (18), carpenter Liam Dutton-Baker (17) and plumber Ben Summers (16) have all started work experience this week on the £5 million development, thanks to the support of not for profit community homes organisation Two Rivers.

“It’s the first time we will have been on a major construction site. We are really looking forward to getting stuck in,” Liam said.

Two Rivers is funding the placements in partnership with Gloucestershire College, where the lads are training for their professional qualifications, and with the support of the site contractor Lovell, who are delivering the massive investment package for Two Rivers.

The college programme also has funding from Forest of Dean Local Action, part of the RDPE programme for England.

The Tufthorn project has seen 34 old worn out and energy hungry houses swept away and replaced by 43 brand new affordable, energy-efficient family homes. The new development includes a mix of four, three and two-bedroomed homes.

All three youngsters, who were the first of the cohort on site, have a direct interest in the Two Rivers project, as their families are members of the Two Rivers community, living in Bream, Coleford and Clearwell.  

Two Rivers’ Director of Development, Matt Hunt, said the not for profit community organisation was committed to offering opportunities for the next generation of construction professionals.

“Affordable homes are just the building blocks for a better life. We will be constructing hundreds of quality affordable new homes for local people over the next few years and we want the investment to boost the local economy and jobs wherever possible.

“It’s fantastic that these three lads are also Two Rivers tenants. That’s what I call positive feedback – building in benefits for the next generation,” he said.

College mentor David Auker-Howlett said Two Rivers and Lovell were opening doors for the young professionals.

“We can give them theory and the training, but this real life experience will give them the edge on the starting line for employment. Two Rivers isn’t an ordinary developer, it’s a community organization and always puts people first. We have come to expect this sort of commitment from them. But it’s great that developer Lovell is also on board with the project, helping give our lads a window on the wider world of work,” he said.        

David Gough, Regional Director for Lovell added: “We make it our business to bring on the next generation of construction industry workers, so we are pleased to welcome these young trainees to the sharp end of the business. We have a comprehensive work experience programme prepared for them, and hope they will enjoy the experience, as well as making good use of their knowledge. With a project like this, which is so important to the community, I am especially pleased that all they have a very personal connection to the area and I hope this will be the first of many boosts that the development will give to local people and the local economy.”  


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