A BARNSLEY bricklaying company has been handed an award for its commitment to tackling the construction skills shortage.

Barnsley Brickwork, based on Regent Street South, has created more than 100 training opportunities and six jobs for Barnsley people over the last year - and has bagged Sheffield Housing Company’s (SHC) ‘sub-contractor of the quarter’ award for its efforts.

The company, established in 2005, has worked with SHC on all of its projects throughout the city, including a 275-house development at Manor Top.

Caiden Smith, 17, who worked on that project, said: “I really enjoy coming to work every day, the variety of work and being able to see a house take shape.”

Caiden was employed through the firm’s ‘Building Blocks’ initiative, which is delivered by Sheffield City Council specialises in helping out-of-work young people into the construction industry.

Barnsley Brickwork owner Matthew Hunter said: “It is rewarding to have been recognised by SHC for our commitment to providing local people with new skills, job and training opportunities.

“The Building Block Initiative is helping to open the door to individuals like Caiden, who might not have previously considered a career in construction.

“As well as trade proficiencies, it is equipping people with valuable life and employment skills.”

SHC project director John Clephan added: “Barnsley Brickwork is a shining example of a business that is investing in its locality to offer opportunities for individuals to up skill, train and gain employment.”