A young father who was made redundant in the wake of SSI’s demise has turned his career around thanks to help from Middlesbrough College.
Ben Hamilton, 28, was working as a plant operator for SSI supplier Hargreaves Services when the plant’s owners, SSI, entered liquidation in October 2015.
The young father from Middlesbrough had just bought a house at the time and immediately set about looking for work.
He started on a Level 2 Heavy Vehicle apprenticeship through Middlesbrough College and has found work with haulage firm D A Watson Commercials Ltd.
Ben said: “I’d found work but didn’t really have any qualifications in mechanics, so I knew I needed to get myself up to speed.
“I spotted the Middlesbrough College programme and signed up.
“The course has been superb. The standard of teaching is great, and it’s taught me practical skills that apply directly to the work at D A Watson.
“Now I’m on a mission to get as qualified as I can.”
As if re-training wasn’t hard enough – Ben faced even more responsibility as his wife had their second child during his studies.
Nevertheless, Ben was described by Middlesbrough College tutor Christopher Towse as an exemplary student who achieved excellent results across all assessed work.
He added: “I’m really pleased to see how Ben has progressed, and I know he’s a valued member of the team at D A Watson.
“Throughout the course he’s been supportive of the other students in the group and shown enthusiasm in all aspects of the course.
“I wish him success in the future knowing he’ll be an asset to any employer.”
Ben was one of hundreds of beneficiaries of special funding – provided to Middlesbrough College by Government for the re-training of those affected by the Redcar steelworks closure.