A Ceredigion training programme has been praised for helping a Lampeter man get employment.

Owen Harrison had been out of work for over a year when he met Catrin, Communities For Work+ (CFW+) employer liaison officer, at a job fayre in Lampeter.

Owen had left education in Year 8 and hadn’t gained qualifications, making it slightly more difficult for Owen to find work. Communities for Work+, which is funded by Welsh Government, referred Owen for mentor support and his mentor, Rachel Tuck, got to know him further and what his hobbies, interests, goals and aspirations were.

Rachel said: “I learned quite quickly that Owen wanted to become a tree surgeon as some of his family were in that industry and therefore had some experience. He was happy to be outdoors and working in all weather and did not want an office job.”

Due to leaving education at an early age and not working for over a year, Owen didn’t have the finances to fund the chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting course and also required some PPE.

He was offered a job at RTS Tree Specialist Ltd, on the grounds he completed the relevant qualifications.

Following several phone calls, messages and emails with his mentor and the support from CFW+, Owen was given the opportunity to attend a three-day training course and assessment in March on chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting.

Owen successfully gained his qualification, which was funded by the Welsh Government through CFW+, and received glowing reports from the assessor and training provider about his positive attitude to the work.

Through completing the training and being given some PPE funded by CFW+, Owen was now able to begin his career with RTS Tree Specialist in May.

Cllr Wyn Thomas, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for lifelong learning and skills, said: “Owen has showed us how the right support like the CFW+ service can impact positively on young peoples lives.

“The support from the team has helped him to secure a full time position, however, his positive attitude to learn has contributed massively to where he is now.

“Well done Owen, I hope that you a have a long and successful career.

“If you know someone who would benefit from Welsh Government’s CFW+ service, get in touch for a chat.”

Rachel added: “This is an excellent outcome for Owen and credit to his determination to succeed. We are very proud of him!”

To find out more about the work support services available in Ceredigion, email TCC-EST­@­ceredigion.gov.uk or call 01970 633422.