32 unemployed adults from Bexley and the surrounding areas have graduated from a free, two week Construct a Career training course that targets individuals that are not currently in employment. The course aims to help participants gain construction and employability skills to help them kick-start their careers.
Wates Residential partnered with learning provider, Cidori and construction recruitment company, ONeill & Brennan to deliver the course, which began on 2 March.
Participants were presented with a certificate of completion from Wates Residentials Operations Director, Glen Roberts and representatives from ONeill and Brennan.
As part of their learning, participants were given the opportunity to visit Wates Residentials two sites in nearby Erith; West Street and Park East. Both are being delivered in partnership with housing association, Orbit. Learners were able to experience walking the site in personal protection equipment (PPE) and witness the different stages of construction, including on-going demolition of three old tower blocks at Park East.
During the second week of the course, participants carried out mock interviews with Wates Residential and its supply chain partners including East Electrical, Flahive Brickwork and Tilbury Contracts Ltd. This was designed to help improve their personal and professional skills including confidence building, work behaviours, CV writing and interview technique.
The course also provided participants with the necessary training to complete their CSCS test so that they can apply for jobs in the industry. Following graduation, they will prepare to sit their CSCS tests. This will allow them to gain work opportunities on Wates and other construction sites across the UK.
Wates Residential is working in partnership with Orbit and the London Borough of Bexley to build 320 new homes at Park East in Erith, of which 80% will be for affordable rent and shared ownership to create a mixed tenure community for residents.
A further 42 homes are due to complete in Spring 2020 at West Street in Erith. This follows the successful regeneration of the neighbouring, award-winning Erith Park which saw the regeneration of the former Larner Road Estate across two phases, resulting in an 80% reduction in crime.
As well as hosting training courses, Wates Residential and Orbit have pledged to provide employment opportunities in the area, which include hiring at least 31 apprentices and 25 people in full time employment from the local area. The first two apprentices were hired in October 2019, working with the demolition contractor on site, Erith Group.
Marcus, participant of Construct a Career said:
This course has taught me a great deal; its been a real eye opener and a wake-up call. I realise now that I have wasted so much time but since attending this course I have the drive to keep studying to help my career. Meeting Lawrence, the Construction Manager in Erith, has inspired me to reach high and work hard so that I can reach my full potential.
Glen Roberts, Operations Director for Wates Residential said:
It is great to see so many committed individuals keen to get a foot on the career ladder in construction. We are committed to providing education and employment opportunities in the communities where we work and courses such as Construct a Career are vital not only in providing much needed opportunities for local people but also in helping the construction industry to source the next generation of talent.
This course is a real chance for people who are looking to get into the industry and we are delighted to have been a part of its delivery. I look forward to seeing many of todays graduates on our sites in the future.