Running a business

Whilst the construction sector provides a variety of roles and plenty of scope for career progression, most entry-level jobs tend to be done by self-employed sub-contractors. So, alongside the practical training in basic construction skills and health & safety, at PHASES we also offer the essential tools our trainees will need to run a small business.

When Keisha came to PHASES, she had been living in hostels for almost 3 years, having suffered mental health issues after problems at home. Without many formal qualifications, Keisha was struggling to find work she could stick at. She wanted to try her hand at something more practical to help her define her career goals. Carpentry seemed like a natural choice, because some of her family members already worked as joiners and cabinet makers.

To support Keisha with the practical elements of her NVQ in carpentry, she joined one of our South London conversions to do some second-fix carpentry, cutting architraves, window aprons and skirting boards. This involved working closely with our contractor and his crew of professional tradespeople. And as it can be a challenge working on a real construction site, our buddy scheme and mentoring sessions were there to support Keisha every step of the way. With regular guided learning from our professionals, business training and support, Keisha’s confidence grew. Her communication, team-working and problem-solving skills all improved dramatically, enabling Keisha to flourish.

Keisha now works with her uncle on his bigger carpentry contracts. With the business skills she learnt with PHASES, she’s been able to help out some of her other family members with their estimates and invoices. By bringing a valued skill into the family, Keisha has had an opportunity to repair some of those broken bonds.

Keisha now earns extra money offering marketing, book-keeping and budgeting skills to carpenters, brick layers and other sole traders through the family network. After getting back on track with her studies, Keisha has a new-found zest for learning. She is now considering an evening course in Business Administration, to add to her skills set. After drifting for a while, Keisha now feels she has a proper career pathway mapped out for her.

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