Learners gain new skills and help rejuvenate overgrown area

Job hunters have been enjoying a return to the traditional craft making of yesteryear as part of our latest learning programme.

Handmade tools, wooden spoons and stools were just some of the things learners on our Habitat course whittled out of wood as part of their training.

The six-strong group is undergoing a four-week Register of Land-based Operatives programme we’re running with Cornwall College, which has also seen them clear away overgrown areas at Brake Farm Housing with Support.

The course is due to finish next week, when the group will sit their theory test. Some will go on to take exams for their CSCS card.

One of the learners, Stephen McCann, who previously worked in grounds maintenance at HMS Raleigh, said: “We’ve been clearing a lot of brambles, overhanging limbs and stinging nettles. There was a lot of dog mess too. The wood whittling has been brilliant.”

PCH tenant Sarah Whitcher said the work they had been doing was well received by the residents.

She said: “They liked that we had cut back the trees and let some light in. One man even came out and began helping us clear the path. They’ve been pleased to see us and are getting used to us being here. We’ve helped one disabled tenant with his garden – we weeded it and put some mulch down.”

The course is part of our Learn for Free programme of courses which can help tenants and others improve their job prospects.

Ryan Huws, PCH Communities Worker, said: “The ROLO and Habitat training course is a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved. The students get a useful qualification and residents get their green areas tidied up. The PCH Environmental Team has been indispensable with this project. They helped us with so many of the practical tasks.”

Stephen Maunder Head of Business Development at the Work Skills Training Academy, Cornwall College, said: “As part of our commitment to help people into work, we are proud to support projects like the PCH Habitat ROLO programme which provides the perfect platform for learners to develop skills and access training opportunities which will support them to enter into, and sustain, employment.”