A Cumbrian housebuilder has helped a Whitehaven man prepare himself for the world of work.

Story Homes, working with Carlisle Jobcentre Plus and career management organisation Inspira, offered Mark Bowers, 20, a day of work experience at its Edgehill Park estate in Whitehaven.

Mark, who has some special educational needs due to being on the autistic spectrum, is considering embarking on a construction course.

He was looking for experience of working on a building site.

Inspira and Carlisle Jobcentreplus worked together to help secure the Story Homes work experience placement for Mark, with the aim of empowering him with the skills and confidence needed to reach his potential in work.

The Lakes College student spent the morning at Edgehill Park working alongside Story Homes’ assistant site manager Ryan Tallantire who set Mark to work completing some of the day-to-day tasks at the development – including bricklaying, operating site machinery and viewing plots to learn about the different build stages involved in constructing a home.

Mark said: “I really enjoyed the work that I was doing out on site and I learned lots of new skills. The hands-on experience from this placement with Story Homes has given me a taste of what a career on site would be like and it will definitely help boost my CV.”

Ryan said: “Our business promotes diversity and flexibility within our workforce, and we are proud to have built a team of people who come from a many different backgrounds.

“We are committed to employability in West Cumbria and further afield, and this includes helping young people to gain the experience they need to enter employment. We really enjoyed having Mark at Edgehill Park for the day and he proved to be a natural on site!”

Steph Armstrong, support for schools advisor and special educational needs mentor at Carlisle Jobcentreplus, said: “Thanks to Story Homes for giving Mark such a fantastic opportunity to visit a building site.

“It helped him to gain an insight into the real ‘world of work’, gain practical experience and develop workplace skills.”

Founded in 1987 by current CEO Fred Story, Story Homes is a housing developer building more than 900 new homes in 2019/20 across Cumbria, North West and North East England and Southern Scotland. Edgehill Park is a development of three and four-bedroom homes located in the Georgian town of Whitehaven. For more information click here.