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Employee of the month Steve Crouch loves his new job

A successful scheme that gets people back into work has helped a Swansea man shine on one of the city's biggest ever developments.

SteveCrouchOct2020

Steve Crouch was helped into his new role by Swansea Council officers attached to employment scheme Workways+, a scheme supported by EU funds through the Welsh Government.

He works as a maintenance operative for Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd on the £135m Swansea Central Phase One scheme and, despite previously being out of work for health reasons, has already won the company's local employee of the month award.

Steve, a father of three who lives in Sketty, said: "I received help from Workways+ after being out of work for over 10 years.

"They funded some training, paid for some essential items, identified a vacancy and helped me get work with one of Buckingham's sub-contractors on the Swansea Central site.

"Hard work, enthusiasm, continued support from Workways+ and the right training got me a job with Buckingham once my first role ended."

"I love being back in employment; thank you Workways+!"

Jaime Bohata, of Buckingham, said: "When Steve worked for our groundwork contractor he demonstrated a positive attitude and, in due course, we had no hesitation in recruiting him.

"Steve goes about his day-to-day activities with a refreshing positivity. He's diligent, polite, observes elements outside his remit and reports back to the site team anything that may need attention. 

"He won our employee of the month award in recognition of his efforts."

Alyson Pugh, the council's cabinet member for better communities, said: "It's great that Steve has found work he enjoys after being unemployed for a lengthy time.

"This shows the power of Workways+. I urge all those struggling to cope with long-term unemployment to consider the scheme as a way towards a bright future.

"The programme helps people regain their confidence and achieve fantastic outcomes."

After being unemployed for 10 years, 44-year-old Steve feared he may never get another job.

Suffering from neurological damage affecting his back, he had severe pain. The condition had prevented Steve from working.

However, after healthcare professionals helped him manage his back issues, Steve contacted the Swansea office of Workways+ where his dedicated mentor Tracy Bowen helped him through training and tests. Workways+ then identified a vacancy for Steve - working with the Buckingham sub-contractor.

Steve was also supported by the council service Beyond Bricks and Mortar.

Swansea Central Phase One is a scheme that is a catalyst to the city's ongoing £1bn regeneration programme. It features the building of a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, parking, homes, commercial units, parkland and a landmark bridge. Funders include the council, Swansea Bay City Deal and the Welsh Government.

Workways+ in Swansea is staffed by officers employed by Swansea Council. They are funded by the European Social Fund via the Welsh Government. 

To get support from the Swansea Workways+ team phone 01792 637112 or visit www.workways.wales.

Workways+ helps people that are out of work get jobs. Its services include developing CVs, mock interviews, help with job applications, job search and one to one mentoring.

The initiative has a comprehensive network of employers that they work with. Workways+ can match the people they support with the employers in their network. It also offers training. In many cases it can fund the cost of the training courses, certificates and licenses.

Workways+ works closely with Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and has placed several workers there.

Photo: Steve Crouch, of Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, at work on the £135m Swansea Central Phase One scheme.

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