Farida finds a new future on the Luton DART project

Preparing local people for work in the construction sector

Farida finds a new future on the Luton DART project

Farida with her line manager on DART’s Parkway Station site

Farida with her line manager on DART’s Parkway Station site

Two years ago, Farida was keen to get a new career under way after having a family. Having previously worked in retail management, she wanted to use her excellent organisational skills.

Farida was interested in construction but didn’t know how to find an entry point. The answer arrived via our pioneering Luton DART project.

Farida was referred to Luton’s Construction Skills Training Hub via the council’s Passport to Employment programme. Established on the Luton DART site by Luton Council in November 2018, the hub was supported with £1m funding provided by the Construction Industry Training Board.

Farida attended introductory training, and performed exceptionally well in her basic qualifications. She was then offered work experience with the surveying and engineering teams.

Farida enjoyed the dynamic environment of the site, and her hearing impairment proved no barrier to success. Soon she secured a role with the engineering team, with flexible hours to work around her childcare responsibilities.

Farida has been a valued administrator to the DART project since April 2019. Further development came via a surveying and setting-out course, resulting in Farida now working alongside the team’s surveyors and being awarded an increase in salary.

Cllr Javeria Hussain, chair of Luton Council’s airport company Luton Rising, said: “The Constructions Skills Training Hub has been central to our vision of developing aspiration and ending poverty in Luton, and we are hugely proud of its success. It has supported everyone from apprentices starting their careers, to people looking for their first jobs and others wanting to develop their careers.”

“Joining the scheme has been a life-changing experience for so many people. It’s great to hear stories like Farida’s, working hard to secure a new career, this makes it all worthwhile.”

The Luton Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) is our major fast transit infrastructure project that will link Luton Airport Parkway Station and the airport terminal in well under four minutes. When it opens in 2021, the DART will help provide a seamless journey from central London to the airport in just half an hour by the fastest trains.

Cllr Hussain added: “As the UK’s most socially responsible airport owner, investment in jobs and training is one of our top priorities and that’s why we asked VFK to lead on delivery on the Construction Skills Training Hub. It is extremely rewarding to hear the powerful stories of individuals who have faced adversity and challenge in their lives and who have gone on to secure new jobs with our support.”