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Sun November 29 2020

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Never too old to learn

10 Dec 13 At a time of life when others might be reaching for their pipe and slippers, 67-year-old Fred Mullis is not just keeping on working, he’s keeping on learning.

Fred Mullis at the 4Life Academy in Aston
Fred Mullis at the 4Life Academy in Aston

On reaching retirement age two years ago, Mr Mullis decided that far from hanging up his tools he was going to keep upskilling and continue his professional development. He has just completed a health & safety course at Willmott Dixon’s 4Life Academy in Aston, which has provided training to more than 2,000 people since opening its doors in February 2013.

Mr Mullis works as a glazier for Willmott Dixon Partnerships on the company’s contract with Birmingham City Council to repair and maintain 60,000 properties in the city.

He said: “I originally joined the council as an apprentice painter and decorator in 1961 and later decided to retrain as a glazier. When I reached retirement age I decided to keep working because I enjoy it and get on so well with my colleagues and our customers.

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“My job is to repair the windows and doors of Birmingham City Council tenants’ homes, or shared communal areas, across north Birmingham. As part of my role I need to stay up to date with the latest health and safety laws on subjects like asbestos, or dealing with ‘sharps’ – any drug paraphernalia I might find in a property. I’ve not only learnt a lot from the courses at the 4Life Academy but enjoyed completing them too.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships managing director Mick Williamson said: “Our academy forms part of our ‘Skills 4 Life’ training model, which aims to produce the best tradespeople within the construction and maintenance sector. It focuses on personal development and aims to maximise the individual’s career potential, while delivering additional benefits for the local community and the construction industry as a whole.” 

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