Five people gain employment through community improvement project

A local renovation project has helped get five local people into employment.

The project was part of a 12-week initiative set up by West Cumbria Works with the help of Sellafield’s supply chain.

It has directly helped five people into full time employment, while helping others gain the skills and qualifications to help them prosper in the employment market.

West Cumbria Works is a service aimed at helping unemployed and underemployed people in Copeland get back into work.

It provides training, coaching and advice to improve the prospects of people looking for work, while helping match people to vacancies and opportunities in the local area.

Over the 12 weeks, candidates helped to renovate a dis-used local business unit, with the help of the Phoenix Enterprise Centre at Cleator Moor.

Experts from various companies taught candidates practical and behavioural skills while providing accredited training.

Skilled workers were provided by a new group called the Nuclear Community Network, made up of various supply chain companies from Sellafield.

The unit was extensively renovated during the programme, and has been successfully leased to a local business at an affordable reduced rate.

The income received from the unit will be reinvested into developing future projects which will again aim to reduce unemployment and provide a lasting social and economic benefit to the community.

The candidates developed vital social and non-specialised skills including team building and decision making along, with valuable accredited training such as IOSH working Safely, Level three first aid and asbestos awareness.


Sellafield Ltd social impact manager Tracey West said: “The aim of the project was to give local people and the nuclear supply chain the chance to work together, and create opportunities for those seeking employment.

“We secured the commitment of our supply chain partners, in giving us their staff time. They worked on programme design and ensured that the candidates worked safely at all times.”

Emma Williamson, West Cumbria Works Sustainability Manager, said: “Our partners from the Nuclear Community Network were able to pass on lots of skills, and also gain an invaluable insight into the barriers faced by people looking for work in a rural community. Because of this, the project has been a real win-win, with the candidates benefiting, the local community benefiting and our partners, Mace, Kaefer, Atkins, Franks Portlock, Wood and Doosan Babcock gaining that understanding of what works best in rural community programmes.

One of the candidates from the programme, Darren Graves said: “I came onto the project having been out of work since 2015 due to ill health. When I was fit enough to return to work I was finding it impossible due to a long absence from full time employment on my CV. Not only did the project give me a lift in my self-esteem but also with the all training provided I have been able to update my CV and secure full time permanent employment.”

Julie Routledge Partnership Manager West Cumbria & Barrow| Department for Work and Pensions said

“ DWP are delighted to be working in partnership with West Cumbria Works and Community based Initiatives such as this programme really help and support individuals to get back into the workplace.  For many people the journey back into work is relatively quick, but for those who have been out of work for some time often need additional help and support.  So we are delighted with the outcomes as the vast majority of those on the programme have now secured employment.  We wish them every success in their future and look forward to working with West Cumbria Works on other ventures.”