A SPECULATIVE letter has helped a Widdrington man to start a new career.
Wayne Ramshaw has worked at Rio Tinto Alcan in Lynemouth for 12 years as an operative, but he will be made redundant next month after the closure of the smelter.
After finding out that he would be losing his job, he sent more than 100 letters and emails to local businesses to find a placement to help him complete his portfolio towards his gas safety qualification.
With only three replies to his letters, all saying they were unable to help, the 43-year-old saw Northumberland County Council Leader Jeff Reid on television highlighting the support the authority was offering Alcan staff and decided to send a letter direct to him.
Coun Reid made some enquiries and he was able to find him a position with Homes for Northumberland, which manages and maintains more than 8,500 properties on behalf of the council.
Mr Ramshaw said: “I’m really grateful to be given the opportunity to complete my qualification by gaining this experience.
“Once my portfolio is complete I will be able to register as a Gas Safety engineer, after which I intend to start my own business or apply for jobs within the domestic gas industry.
“As we all know, it is difficult finding a job in the current economic climate and this opportunity is a real step towards helping me achieve this goal.”
Initially, he will work with a team installing new boilers before he moves across to gas servicing and helping with annual safety checks.
Homes for Northumberland Interim Director of Property Services Ian Johnson said: “We are delighted to be able to support Wayne in this way as he will be able to gain a range of experience from our team, who work on a variety of areas in gas safety.
“He will work with us around his shifts at Alcan before joining us full time at the end of May to complete his training. We welcome Wayne to the team and I hope he enjoys his experience working with us.”
Coun Reid added: “I am very pleased that Homes for Northumberland has been able to provide Wayne with this valuable experience, which will help him to re-train for a new career.
“Along with partner agencies, we are working on a number of fronts to support Alcan workers and those in supply chain companies to find new employment.”