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Full steam ahead for Mark

Full steam ahead for Mark

Full steam ahead for Mark

Twenty-four year old Mark Llewellyn from Port Talbot has found a permanent job with Carmarthen based Gwili Steam Railway thanks to help from the EU-backed South West Workways project.

Mark had been out of work for over three years due to ill health and needed to get back into the jobs market.

With help from a Workways mentor, Mark started on a journey which eventually led to him getting a job in an industry that had always appealed to him.

Mark has a passion for steam railways and it was his ambition to be a steam engine driver.

First he took part in courses including outdoor activities and confidence building, then began as a volunteer for Friends of Margam Park spending many hours carrying out ranger duties at the Park.

After attending Workways’ job search he quickly secured a Temporary Job Opportunity with Gwili Steam Railway. This led to fireman training, signalling and maintenance work and Mark is now training to drive the steam train.

“I am delighted to be realising my ambition to work with steam trains,” said Mark.

“This would not have been possible without the dedicated support I received from the Workways team.

“My message to others in my situation would be to sign up with Workways, they can help you find yourself again.”

Led by Neath Port Talbot Council in collaboration with Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Swansea Councils, the South West Workways project has been made possible by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

The project matches local people with businesses, helping them gain the vital experience needed to find long term employment. To date it has helped over a thousand individuals find work with many more accessing the service.

Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said:

“I am delighted that through our successful management of EU funds we are able to back our goals and support measures to tackle the barriers that prevent individuals from accessing the labour market.”

Council Leader, Ali Thomas, added:

“This is an excellent example of the success of the Workways project and how they can support people to get back into the workplace.

“Congratulations to Mark for his hard work and determination.”

Rob James, Gwili’s operations Manager, said:

“Mark is making excellent   progress. He has a flare for railway disciplines and engineering and he shows a great enthusiasm for further training.”