Construction worker finds success with 'gizza job’ plea
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
A construction worker 'did a Yosser Hughes' and got a job in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The bold approach paid off for Douglas Arkle (pictured right in the photo) who emulated the character played by Bernard Hill in the 1980s drama, 'Boys from the Black Stuff'.
Arkle, 54, used to live in Scotswood before his home was demolished to make way for redevelopment. He was taken on as a general labourer at The Rise site in Scotswood where the first 377 of 1,800 new homes are now under construction.
Arkle said: "I remember the TV series with the Yosser character and his determination to find work. I was employed at Scotswood during the site preparation but faced the dole as that job came to an end. So I thought I had might as well have a go and see if the builders could use anyone to help when the houses went up.
"I walked to the site office with my cv and just asked them to 'Gizza job'. To be honest I was a bit surprised when they said yes."
Arkle, who has spent 14 years working in the building trade in various labouring roles, said: "It is great to have work on a project which is improving an area I know well."
Andy Dawson, project manager with Barratt Homes, who gave Douglas his break, said: "He is certainly a trier and a worker. He came to see me the day our cabin went on site, which was too early to make any employment decisions. But he kept coming back, bringing a good cv, good experience and good references. Eventually I was able to offer him a job and he’s not looked back since."
Douglas had received the backing of Newcastle Futures, an initiative which is helping locals to explore job opportunities. The Rise is one of several sites across the city that are part of a targeted recruitment and training project run by Newcastle City Council where jobs and apprenticeships are secured for local residents through the use of planning agreements or conditions and by placing clauses in council contracts. To date six trades, a business administration and catering apprentice have secured placements at or near the site as a direct result of the initiative.
The Rise is the biggest single site, housing-led redevelopment project in the North of England. Over the next 15-18 years it is expected to grow to become a sustainable community of up to 1,800 homes.
Set on the banks of the River Tyne, the £265 million, 66-hectare venture is being driven by the New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC), a public/private joint venture comprising Newcastle City Council, Barratt Homes and Keepmoat Homes, with financial backing from the Homes and Communities Agency.