Jobless get chance to find work rebuilding Stepney’s huge Ocean Estate

People struggling to find jobs while their housing estate is getting a �200 million renovation in London’s East End are being trained to play their part in the rejuvenation scheme.

Sixteen unemployed men and women living on the Ocean Estate in Stepney started on a construction training scheme today.

The estate is undergoing refurbishing of 1,200 properties with new kitchens and bathrooms and building 800 new homes.

The training scheme by Wates contractors is part of the national ‘Building Futures’ programme offering the long-term unemployed a two-week vocational course for those aged 19 to early 50s to show a possible route back into the job market.

Wates’ manager Louise Hyde said: “This scheme gives those without jobs more than just bricks and mortar—it gives new skills and a fresh beginning to people and not just the buildings.”

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The ‘Building Futures’ programme has a 57 per cent record of those taking part going on to jobs or further training.

The Ocean rebuilding started in 2009 and is set to be completed by the summer of 2013.

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Wates won the joint-contract from Tower Hamlets Council after a �3 million pilot scheme in which 170 homes were completed early. It is part of the East Thames Consortium with the East Thames Group and Spitalfields housing associations, Bellway house-builders and First Base urban developers.

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