Ben Houchen has praised the hard work of a local man whose training has led him to secure long-term employment and be one of the first people involved in preparing Teesworks for future development.
Jay Hindson, 20, was unemployed before undertaking training at Seymour Skills Training Academy in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education on a Gateway to Construction course, which was funded by the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority via the devolved Adult Education Budget.
The course provided him with a number of qualifications and skills, including in NRSWA Street Works, asbestos awareness, health and safety, hot and cold surfacing, first aid at work, excavator training and using cable locators and utility detection techniques.
He is now working full-time as a general operative for Seymour Civil Engineering and is helping carry out the first phase of remediation works at Teesworks, formerly the South Tees Development Corporation site and the UK’s largest industrial zone. There, he is based at the Dorman Point zone, known locally as the Prairie site, helping to remediate the land ready for investment.
Mayor Houchen said: “Workers like Jay show what Teesworks is all about, creating good quality, well paid local jobs for local workers.
“We are breathing new life into our former steelworks site and with this comes jobs. In just a few months the Teesworks site has gone from a place with little going on other than essential maintenance and safety work to a hive of activity due to our ongoing 12-month demolition and remediation programme which will create 775 jobs for people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“Jay is also is a shining example of how adult education and training works to get people into jobs and on a path to a fantastic career, meaning more money in their back pockets for them and their family.
“Working ever closer with our great local companies and training providers like Seymour Civil Engineering will be vital to providing a strong, skilled workforce with the expertise we need to help businesses grow for generations to come.
“I wish Jay all the best for the future and I’m sure he’ll be a big success.”
Hartlepool-based Jay has a family history of ground working, with his grandad a machine driver.
He’s a new father to a three-month old girl and said the stability this job has provided has made a world of difference to his family, who have ambitions to get on to the property ladder.
He said: “I’d totally recommend anyone take up a training course as I had a great experience and have enjoyed getting hands-on and learning new things.
“Seymour’s invest in their people and really provide opportunities to develop – I thought I’d only be getting qualifications, so to land a job at the end of it was a real bonus.
“It’s great to be on site at Teesworks and I’m learning even more from Seymour’s experienced team. I know what’s planned for the area and how it will change our region forever so I’m proud to be playing my part to get the site ready for investment and more jobs.”
Seymour Skills Training Academy manager Donna King said: “Jay showed great aptitude from the start and he had the right attitude to his training.
“He was keen to progress and develop his skills and knowledge and it was the promise we saw in Jay that led us to choose him to join Seymour Civil Engineering.
“We’re delighted to be able to help bring full circle investment from the Mayor and Combined Authority.
“It was their funding that allowed us to train Jay through our state-of-the-art academy, and now he is putting his skills to good use to make Teesworks investor-ready.”
The meeting came just days after the mayor announced a Teesworks Skills Academy would be established as a one-stop shop for site investors, further education providers and jobseekers.
The academy will work to ensure that people in Tees Valley have the skills they need to take advantage of jobs being created on the site in the future.