Paul's New Hope

Paul Walker, aged 42, from Murton was unfortunately made redundant on his birthday of all days, back on 1st December 2008, from SES Special Engineering Services. Due to the tough economic climate Paul was unable to find work in his chosen industry and therefore had to start to claim benefits.

Paul said, “It has been hell being out of work and claiming benefits, my family had a really hard time trying to make ends meet and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Paul was referred by Jobcentre Plus to East Durham College and onto their Free Work Focused Training Programme, designed especially for people who have been unemployed for over 6 months. The East Durham College Employment Support Team gave him advice and guidance on the possible routes back into work and the courses that were available. Paul decided to enrol on an electrical multi-course which incorporates four specialist areas of electrical engineering. The course will be undertaken at East Durham College’s specialist gas and electric unit on the North West Industrial Estate in Peterlee.

Once completed, the course will give Paul a real chance of finding a job or he could even become self employed. Paul added, “The help and support I have received from the College has given me a sky high buzz. I now have the chance of a new start, new life and new career. If I can do it, anyone can!”

Hayley Clifton, an Employer Responsive Officer at East Durham College said, “I have been so impressed with Paul’s positive attitude and it is so rewarding to be able to help someone whom felt such despair.”

Paul’s course will start on the 7th September and the College will visit Paul when he has completed the course to see how he is getting on and if he needs any further help and support.

The new Work Focused Training Programme has just been launched as a direct result of the recent rise in unemployment. The free programme offers a clear pathway for people to re-train in an area where there is demand in the jobs market. A further new initiative called East Durham Response to Redundancy Partnership has also been launch to help those who have recently been made redundant.

For details on any of the employment support programmes or courses offered by East Durham College please contact the Employment Support Team on 0191 518 8294.