Matthew is reaching new heights after embarking on two short routeway courses at Redcar and Cleveland College.
Initially inspired by the college’s Routeway to Decommissioning programme, the 35-year-old from Redcar, jumped at the chance to try the Routeway to Rope and Painting Industry programme.
Offered work with the course’s delivery partners, Total Solutions Ltd., within a few short weeks Matthew was helping paint the unreachable nooks and crevices of bridges in Keswick.
He said: “I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to do more.”
Fortunately, he knew he had a good head for heights having previously done a charity skydive.
It was a big career change for Matthew who had previously worked as a printer. He had gone on to ultimately start setting up his own handyman company when Covid 19 hit earlier this year.
Out of work for around 11 months, he signed up for the decommissioning and then rope access courses.
For him it proved the right move. Now keen to further develop his skills, he said: “You have to have the right attitude and keep developing your skills. You have to be versatile and see where it can lead.”
Funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s Adult Education Budget and working alongside Jobcentre Plus and Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Grangetown and Skinningrove hubs, the Routeway to Rope and Painting Industry course covered a host of accredited new skills including IRATA Rope Access, ECITB Working at Heights, Rigging and Slinging, ECITB Site Safety Passport, asbestos awareness, and key employability skills.