The Restore Trust was set up in 2009 by the current CEO Suzanne Thompson and SMT board of Avon & Somerset Probation Trust, in conjunction with the National Offender Management Service. Today, whilst organisation retains a specialism in working with people with complex needs and criminal convictions, it can work with anyone in the community who is experiencing barriers in accessing training and employment.
Joff Soden joined the organisation in 2020, bringing his knowledge, experience and qualifications from working within the construction industry to be an Adult Education Tutor offering Construction Health & Safety and CSCS card training.
Curious about Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and its potential impact on traditional building, Joff signed up for Skills Bootcamps – Future of Construction. “I was looking to gain a better understanding of the topic and to see if there was information that we could share with our learners,” he explained.
Joff was particularly interested in about the new modular off-site opportunities and what skills were required within the sector that might be relevant to what he was teaching currently. “I could see that these developments might appeal to people looking to have a job in construction but who were put off by the idea of working on building sites.”
On the course, Joff said that he “picked up plenty of useful information, particularly around carbon release and embedded carbon” and that it “stimulated my interest in the topic so that I now following developments in the news avidly.”
“MMC has huge potential benefits to the construction industry in terms of the environment, Health & Safety, waste reduction but the companies offering it are limited and at the moment the benefits need to be weighed up against the costs, but I’m watching closely to see what happens. Completing the Skills Bootcamp enabled me to discover more about the subject and to expand my knowledge in case it could potentially be part of our teaching in the future,” stated Joff.
He continued that “the format of the course was great as it was a mix of face-to-face and online sessions, which helped me to build contacts and raise the profile of The Restore Trust as well as fit in around my teaching.”
He points out that many of the people he teaches have had poor experiences of the education system and authorities. He explained that it is important to make what he teaches relevant and practical in terms of potential future work to engage with them.
“Having experts on the Skills Bootcamp brought the topic to life which was really beneficial and made it a very positive experience for me. It helped me to understand the framework of where MMC sits in relation to traditional construction, and I am looking forward to at some point sharing this knowledge with others”.