Feb 10

Man With Down’s Syndrome Gains Place On Scaffolding Course


In what is thought to be a first for the UK, a 32-year-old man with Down’s Syndrome has gained a place on a scaffolding training scheme at Weston College in Swindon, with the apprentice course set to see him become a fully qualified scaffolder.

According to the Swindon Advertiser, Todd Scanlon will take the course at his own pace, with no deadlines, and will receive one-on-one support in order to get his certified Construction Industry Scaffolding Record Scheme card. From there, he can then progress to get his NVQs and be fully qualified.

Todd said: “I’m really proud of what I’ve done. I really enjoy scaffolding and I’m looking forward to going to college.”

He was given his first scaffolding job by Martyn Coles of Coles Scaffolding three years ago, with the pair of them working together during this time to campaign to make construction sites a more inclusive place.

Since then, they’ve seen a lot of success in helping to change attitudes towards recruiting those with disabilities. In 2019, Mr Scanlon won a national award for best apprentice at the On The Tools Awards and, last year, the company won a special recognition award at the industry’s Total Awards.

Mr Coles said: “What Todd’s message is showing is that anyone can achieve their goals if they want to and have the right people around them, all of the lads have been amazing with him and helping him.”

The latest employment statistics for disabled people in 2021 show that the pandemic has had an impact on some industries more than others. The proportion of disabled people working in construction and manufacturing, as well as accommodation and food services, fell by about one percentage point over the last 12 months.

The industries that both disabled and non-disabled people are most likely to work in are education, wholesale, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles, and human health and social work activities.


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