Nine months ago Rachid Rouzaqui was unemployed and very fed up.  Now he has a job he loves, new qualifications and has been promoted with a pay rise.  Today he holds the post of Trainee Site Manager, working on a prestigious Grade One listed building. 

How did this happen?  Well first Rashid is the kind of person who knows a good opportunity when he sees one and will then work hard to show what he can do. "Before I only found occasional seasonal work and zero hour contracts. I was in a bad place and I didn't know what to do. I was getting very frustrated".

Then one day his personal adviser at PDT Employment, Sibert Barbour, contacted him with a phone call that changed everything. Sibert works on PDT's GOLD programme which helps people in West and Central London find jobs and he had called Rachid to tell him about an opportunity to try out as a labourer on the redevelopment of St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Westminster. Not only was this a potential local job, it was also a high skills project to save a famous building and a chance to learn a lot about conservation as well as help build a new learning centre to a challenging modern design.

The opportunity was special in a different way too - it was not advertised to the general public because the building company Lengard had signed an agreement with PDT that some jobs on the regeneration project would be set aside for local unemployed people. "It sounds simple, but it wasn't really," says Lucy Foster, PDT's Community Heritage Programme Manager. "It relied on really flexible cooperation between PDT's Mary Mag's rebuilding project, PDT's Employment Advisers and the building company Lengard. Just to make this one job happen took hours of meetings! But Lengard were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble, and we are all so pleased with the result". In fact, since Rachid was promoted, another PDT client has taken his place as labourer, and that role is going well too.

Paddington Development Trust Employment

"Sibert and I had a great relationship," says Rachid. "He gave me a lot of one on one time and helped update my CV. He treated me like an individual and not a number. Then Lee and Richard at Lengard put me on training courses and let me shadow different roles. That's been important so I can see how I can progress in the industry. I feel lucky."

Rachid Rouzaqui