Former unruly Sheffield pupil lands full-time job through construction work experience scheme

A Sheffield man who 'misbehaved at school' and left with 'no qualifications' has secured full-time employment through a work experience scheme.

Monday, 4th December 2017, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:08 am
Ryan at work on a site in Norfolk Park

The 'ground-breaking initiative' has helped Ryan Ogilvie, aged 25, from Wybourn, into a career in construction through property and regeneration group Sheffield Housing Company.

He's helping build new houses across the city along with 49-year-old Patrick Madden from Walkley, who also secured full-time employment.

Ryan on a site at Norfolk Park

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The pilot programme was delivered by a partnership comprising Sheffield Housing Company, the city council and Jobcentre Plus.

Six people, who had previously completed a construction employability programme and gained BTEC Level two certificates, were given the opportunity to work on live construction sites.

These were the newly completed Park Grange House in Norfolk Park, which was built by Keepmoat Regeneration and the SHC development at Brearley Forge, being constructed by Keepmoat Homes.

Both Ogilvie and Madden impressed sufficiently to be offered work with SHC construction partner, Keepmoat Homes, and one of Keepmoat Regeneration’s subcontractors.

Ryan on a site at Norfolk Park

Ryan said: “I didn’t really behave well at school and left early without any qualifications. I have been in and out of jobs without any real prospects and so it was great to get this opportunity for real work experience and I tried my hardest to learn and impress.

“I thought it would just be to put on my CV so to get a job at the end is unbelievable. I love what I do and there is never a morning when I don’t look forward to getting to site and getting stuck in.”

Gerry Doherty, Project Manager at Keepmoat Regeneration, said: “We believe it is vital to work with our partners to create opportunities for local people. Ryan worked incredibly hard during his work experience placement with us, getting involved in labouring, bricklaying and joinery, and as a result was offered full-time employment with one of our subcontractors, which is a fantastic achievement.

“We wish him all the best for his bright future in construction and we’re delighted that we were able to provide a stepping stone to help him on his way.”

Sheffield Housing Company is a joint venture involving Sheffield Council, Keepmoat and Great Places. It was established to build around 2,300 quality new homes for sale, rent and shared ownership on 19 sites across the city. To date, it has completed almost 500 homes.

Since it was launched in 2011 it has created over 200 jobs and 44 apprenticeships, while spending £8.25 million with city region suppliers and subcontractors.

John Clephan, SHC project director said: “It is very important to us that while we build good quality housing for the people of Sheffield, we also invest in communities and individuals to help change lives for the better.

“The work experience programme has clearly helped local unemployed people to secure themselves better futures. Recognition and thanks go to all partners involved and well done to the participants who worked very hard to take advantage of the opportunity given to them.”