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Last month’s Spotlight focused on key employees at our new contractor, Ardmore, who highlighted some of the training and employment initiatives that they would be putting in place at Wornington Green. This month, we speak to Jalen Scarlett, a local resident who has been working as a labourer on-site with Ardmore since January.

Jalen got his first taste for a career in construction through an introductory course run by P2P. At the time, he was too young to gain a qualification but it provided the motivation to go and study Construction Level 1 at Kensington and Chelsea College (KCC). With P2P’s help, Jalen has now secured employment with Ardmore and is hoping to be taken on as an apprentice later this year.

Despite having undertaken some formal training at both KCC and the College of North West London (CNWL), Jalen is a big fan of on-the-job learning.

“I was never very good at sitting in a classroom and learning” he says “but this provides the best of both worlds. I am still learning every day, but I’m also getting paid to do something I enjoy.”

Having already gained experience in carpentry, plumbing, painting, decorating and general labouring, Jalen is attracted to construction because of the variety it provides. “The beauty of working on site is that there is always something new to do and you don’t end up doing the same thing over and over again.”

Despite his obvious enthusiasm for life on-site, Jalen has also tried his hand at office jobs. However, his experience in office administration simply cemented his passion for a career in construction. “I wanted to get a taste of working in an office, but quickly realised it isn’t really me. I like being outside and on the move, so there really is no alternative for me.”

Jalen, now 16, has lived on Wornington Green for most of his life and is a big supporter of P2P. Having been involved since the age of 10, he has benefitted from a wide range of help and support over the years. Reflecting on his experiences over the years, he says:  “At first, we all used to go there just to hang out and play on the decks, and Playstations. And then as we got older, it was more about going there for the useful things – life lessons and help with the things that matter.”

With P2P’s help, Jalen now has a job and potentially an apprenticeship to look forward to. He has already learnt a lot about the building trade and has equipped himself with many of the skills and qualifications for a life in construction. So when the first residents move into their new homes at Wornington Green, there is every chance that Jalen’s handiwork will have been involved somewhere along the way.

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