When experienced kitchen fitter Lewis Steinborn first contacted us last summer, he was working with his dad, had no qualifications and was worried about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on his immediate future.

Six months later, thanks to ESF funding, Lewis has an NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors, his CSCS Skilled Worker card and is working fulltime for a large kitchen and joinery firm.

“The NVQ has helped me massively,” says the 25-year-old. “It has increased my earning potential and given me more career opportunities. I’ve been really busy since finishing the NVQ, and I’m rammed with work right now!”

Government NVQ Funding

Lewis is another example of how the Skills Support for the Workforce project (co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education & Skills Funding Agency) has supported thousands of self-employed construction workers and SME’s in gaining qualifications and accreditation.

Chesterfield-native Lewis completed his qualification with us in three months, working closely with his NVQ assessor, Steve Graham, to build a work-based evidence portfolio.

Creating Opportunities

“Lewis was very keen to broaden his work horizons and create more opportunities for himself,” says Steve.

“He was very enthusiastic about getting the NVQ completed. He cracked on while I observed him working and completed his coursework quickly. I also received a glowing written testimony from his site manager. With his attitude, ability and new qualification, there’s nothing to stop him now.”

Despite Lewis’ confident nature, he admits to having reservations about his work being assessed – trepidation that he swiftly abandoned after his first consultation with Steve.

“I’ve done the job for six years, but I still felt nervous about being observed,” says Lewis. “I felt more confident after speaking to Steve, and he put me at ease. It also helped when I realised it wasn’t a pass or fail type test. It didn’t feel like Steve was here to judge me”.

“I’m a fully qualified kitchen fitter, and nobody can tell me otherwise!”

Lewis feels like he has enhanced his career prospects by achieving the NVQ and gaining his CSCS blue card.

“I was getting asked for my blue card on-site, and it was starting to become a problem,” admits Lewis. “Now I have my NVQ and CSCS card; it shows that I’m a fully qualified kitchen fitter. Nobody can tell me otherwise!”

Skills Support for the Workforce

Lewis’ NVQ Level 2 in Fitted Interiors was funded by the Skills Support for the Workforce programme – part-funded by the European Social Fund. Funding is available for construction workers in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and parts of the Sheffield City Region. Contact us today to find out if you’re eligible.

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