A FIFTEEN-year old Shiregreen boy is following in his family’s footsteps thanks to a helping hand from SOAR Build, which was set up in Sheffield to help people get construction jobs.
Arron Sleight, who is a pupil at Firth Park School, wanted to use his Year 10 work experience week at school to find out more about a career in construction. So he set up a placement on the building site at Sanctuary Group’s Sicey Pavilion Apartments with help from SOAR Build Social Enterprise scheme and his uncle, who is a contractor on the project.
Arron has been working alongside his uncle Paul Staples, who has been working for SOAR Build, part of the Keepmoat Group, to tile all the kitchens and bathrooms in the 24 apartments for over-55s. Construction company Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) helped to create SOAR Build and helped Arron get on site.
Arron said: “Tiling is really skilled! It’s a lot harder then it looks and it takes time and experience to get it right. There are so many processes involved – the measuring, the cutting, the grouting. But it’s all going really well and I am learning lots of new things that I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. I live so close to the build site that every time I walk past it I’ll think to myself that I helped in finishing the job off. It has got me thinking about a possible career in construction.”
Paul Staples, who has been a sub-contracted tiler for SOAR Build for six years, said: “Arron is getting his hands dirty and it’s good to see him being challenged by new things, and he has certainly joined in with the team spirit on the site. He’s been tiling wet rooms in the morning and kitchens in the afternoon. Watching him learn is very rewarding.
“I was taught the ropes in 1975 when I started my apprenticeship in Sheffield. Since then I’ve been working with FHM and SOAR Build to help train up people who want to try a career in the construction industry. It’s good to help local people gain new skills that will help them achieve a rewarding career.”
Frank Haslam Milan is an avid supporter of apprenticeships and training programmes. Many of its current workforce started their careers through apprentice schemes and see the value in training the next generation of workers.