A Neath valley man has found full time employment on the construction site of the largest onshore wind farm in Wales and England, with the assistance of an EU funded employment project.
Fifty year old Vincent Jones from Clyne is employed as a cleaner by the joint venture partners Jones Bros and Balfour Beatty, which are delivering infrastructure at Vattenfall’s 76 turbine Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project site located between Neath and Aberdare.
Vincent was made redundant in October last year from his job at a local recycling plant, and in his quest for employment, signed up to the South West Workways project, which helps people tackle the barriers preventing them from finding work.
Workways is backed by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. The project is led by Neath Port Talbot Council in collaboration with Bridgend, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Swansea Councils.
After being made redundant, Vincent became eligible for the Welsh Government’s Redundancy Action Scheme (ReAct). Through this support, Vincent was able to access funding to gain his Forklift Licence and CSCS card to improve his chances of landing a permanent job.
“I signed up to Workways as soon as I was made redundant; they were great from start. My mentor Rebecca was brilliant and really helped me a lot” said Vincent.
Through attending regular jobsearch sessions, Vincent gained valuable assistance in his route back to employment.
Vincent said “I was getting really frustrated at not getting any interviews. The Workways staff were really helpful in brushing up my job application skills. They also have such good contacts with local and established companies; it’s a great way of making yourself known to an employer.”
Through Workways’ relationship with both the joint venture partners and Vattenfall, a vacancy for Site Cleaner became available on site at Pen y Cymoedd. Vincent’s CV was put forward for the job along with a number of other Workways participants.
Following the application process and interviews, Vincent was offered the job and started work on site in February.
“I’m really enjoying the job. It’s great to be working on such a big project. I’m getting on with everyone on site as well.
“I can’t thank Workways enough. They worked so hard for me, and I’m really grateful to be in work,” Vincent added.
Eryl Roberts, project manager for the joint venture, said: “It’s great to see Vincent benefitting from the work we’re doing on site.
“The Pen y Cymoedd project is providing a variety of opportunities to many people just like Vincent, and I’m pleased that we’re in a position to help others get back into employment.”
Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said “I am delighted once more to see the continuing success of the Workways Project and I would like to congratulate the latest recipient of this wonderful initiative on their dedication and commitment in attaining their goal. Once again I wish to express my gratitude to everyone involved with South West Workways.”