A North East construction firm is providing opportunities for young people in North Tyneside who have faced employment challenges.
The Owen Pugh Group, which has its head office in Dudley and operations across the region, has just taken on its fifth young employee through its relationship with the Phoenix Detached Youth Project (PDYP) charity, which works with teenagers and young adults in Meadowell, Percy Main, East Howden, Royal Quays and Chirton.
Geoff Turner, from North Shields, has been appointed as a full-time painter and decorator, undertaking interior work across the company’s five sites.
Having carried out a number of training schemes with the firm, including PASMA scaffold training, he is soon set to begin work on the exterior of Owen Pugh’s training centre, alongside a specialist team.
PDYP provides practical and emotional support to young people struggling to find work.
Turner, a former dock worker from Middlesbrough who moved to North Tyneside 2008 to be with his pregnant partner, had been struggling to secure permanent employment before being introduced to Owen Pugh by project manager Mike Burgess.
Turner said: “The help I’ve had from Phoenix has been fantastic - they do everything from writing CVs to helping you stay positive about finding work when times are tough.
“The introduction to Owen Pugh has been life changing.”
Owen Pugh has had a relationship with PDYP since 2010 and has provided financial support towards the company’s operating costs, has set up a food bank and has sponsored activities for young people. In addition, the business has provided training, mentoring and employment opportunities for a number of young people where there has been a fit with the business.
John Dickson, chairman of The Owen Pugh Group, said: “Phoenix Detached Youth Project is a fantastic initiative that provides an outlet for marginalised young people and we’re proud to support the scheme and play a part in helping these young people to take control of their lives and make positive contributions to the local community and indeed the economy. “