Self-employed dry liner, Duane Mannion, is the very definition of a construction man who learned the game on the job after leaving school. But it wasn’t until recently that he accessed NVQ funding to gain his first ever qualification.
The 39 year old left school at 16 and admits he wasn’t academically inclined. Life in the construction industry appealed to his physical, hands-on nature.
He moved between trades for several years before settling as a dry liner. A decade later – then in his thirties – Duane was a highly proficient tradesman. But one thing was missing: a qualification to validate his skill and experience.
“I was still using a basic labourer’s CSCS card,” explains Duane. “Yet most of the guys I was working with had skilled worker cards. It was getting to the point that I needed a skilled card to access most sites”.
The Leeds United fan knew he needed to gain his NVQ so he could apply for his skilled card, otherwise he’d be turned away from work.
“I Googled ‘NVQ Funding’ and found DMR Training”, says Duane. “I’d previously tried a couple of other training companies in the Sheffield region but neither of them returned my calls.”
Duane, originally from Leeds but now Sheffield-based, was signed up to NVQ Level 2 in Interior Systems by DMR. His qualification was funded by the European Social Fund’s Skills Support for the Workforce initiative.
Duane’s NVQ was delivered through onsite assessment, a route specifically designed for experienced workers.
“My NVQ assessor, Lyndon, was really helpful. He carried out two workplace observations of me boarding, and we had several face-to-face discussions about the trade, and health and safety. I actually enjoyed the process”
Duane feels strongly that the qualification will provide a welcome boost to his career at a significant milestone in his life.
“There’s no doubt this NVQ has progressed my career to the next stage”, says the family man who recently became a dad again, as well as a grandad for the first time.
Duane’s NVQ is his first qualification but he hopes more will follow as he eyes up a move into construction management (and a Level 6 NVQ). “I need to get off the tools before I get too old,” he says, laughing.
Apply for NVQ funding with DMR Training
At DMR Training we have access to NVQ funding for a range of construction trades including joinery, plastering, dry lining, bricklaying, groundwork, painting and decorating, roofing and plant operations . If you live or work within Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Sheffield City Region and have at least three years’ experience in your trade, visit our funded NVQ page to find out how we can help.