When A1 Housing embarked on a project to build 71 new houses in Harworth, the vision was to provide opportunities for local trades people – what they didn’t envisage was just how ‘local’ the workforce would become.
Just days after the site hoardings had been erected by the building contractor Woodhead, site manager Paul Martin had a visit from Smith Square resident Craig Millns, who lives just five doors down from the site.
As a single parent to three children, Craig was looking for full-time work after spending the last 10 years working part-time as a qualified body piercer as well as working in a Chinese Cultural Exchange in Sheffield.
But Craig also had experience of the building industry and said: “I worked in construction many years ago, including work on the Channel Tunnel. I was a steel fixer and welder, making bridge beams and tunnel segments.”
“I saw everything going up on site and after a couple of days I approached the Site Manager to ask if they had any labouring opportunities.”
With 42 years of working in the industry Paul saw something in Craig and offered him an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. He said: “From the start I was really impressed with Craig. He took the initiative to come and see me and made a good first impression.”
“I told him that if he could come back in three weeks with his CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) Card, I would give him a trial. He didn’t let me down and turned up with his card three weeks later having scored 100 percent on his test and held me to my word.”
In addition to his work ethic, one of Craig’s biggest assets is his locality. He added: “I’ve lived in Harworth most of my life and it’s a bonus that the site is right on my doorstep. I think I’ve got the lowest carbon footprint of anyone coming to work on site!”