A CARDIGAN mum has taken her first steps towards a career in the construction industry by undertaking work experience during Wynne Construction’s ongoing project at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi.

An aspiring joiner, Willow Kehily has been working on the secondary school site a mere ten-minute walk from her home in the town.

She is just one of many participants in south west Wales who have been connected to contractors building in the region through the Construction Industry Training Board Onsite Experience hub programme managed by Cyfle Building Skills.

 After being made redundant from her job in retail, the mum-of-one elected to study a Level 1 joinery and carpentry diploma at Coleg Ceredigion’s Cardigan campus, where she learnt about the scheme.

Willow, who previously studied philosophy, said: “I’m pursuing a career in joinery as I want a role with increased security, stability, and one which will allow me to develop a skillset to support myself and my son long term.

“My son is at the age where he doesn’t think twice about my occupation. It’s important to me that he continues to see his mum in a strong role and represented in a particularly male-dominated industry.

“Working on the school has been a major milestone in my career as it is my first go at the job and after only a few days on the site, I am 100 per cent sold on the career path.”

“In college you learn the basics which are obviously fundamental, but seeing how the skills developed in the classroom play out practically and getting a taste for life onsite has been brilliant to take part in alongside the team at Wynne.

“Days might be fast-paced, but I’ve never been made to feel like my questions are too time-consuming and the team really take the time to offer guidance at every step.”

Cyfle helps individuals secure employment in south west Wales and has been delivering the CITB programme for more than a year, allowing more than 140 companies to engage with 335 candidates completing a placement.

Anthony Rees, regional manager for Cyfle Building Skills, said: “It’s a win-win situation; people in the local area don’t have to look far for valuable experience, and contractors building in the region can access nearby talent for its supply chain.”