Jobseekers in Birmingham have been given a helping hand towards a career in the built environment thanks to the Wates Building Futures Programme undertaken by Wates as the contractor currently builds The Bank development in the city centre.
13 candidates aged 19 and above completed Wates’ accredited Building Futures training programme in order to develop the required construction skills that will enable them to develop a career in the construction industry.
This included a variety of taster sessions in trades such as carpentry and plumbing, lessons in manual handling and asbestos awareness and health and safety workshops. The candidates then completed Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) tests in order to gain the necessary certification to work on a building site.
Candidates were also given the opportunity to practice and improve their interview techniques in a series of mock interviews with members of Wates’ supply chain, including The Coleman Group, APiC UK and PRS Recruitment.
In addition, the participants were given a tour of the work taking place at second building at The Bank. When completed, it will stand over 100m tall, be 33 storeys high and will become one of only two residential skyscrapers in the city, overtaking the first building, recently completed and also built by Wates, in height.
During the tour the candidates were introduced to the team delivering the project, who provided insight on structural work that ensures the building site is secure during adverse weather conditions. They also witnessed various different stages of the apartment build programme, from outer shell to completed show apartment.
John Carlin, Wates Construction’s Business Unit Director for the Midlands, presented certificates at the end of the two weeks. The presentation also involved a speech from a Wates Living Space employee whose career began following his completion of a Building Futures course. John Carlin said:
“As our presence in Birmingham grows, we’re determined to increase our contributions to the local community and our Building Futures programme is the perfect way to do just that. The candidates were given an insight into how a large-scale project such as The Bank comes to fruition, a wider introduction to the construction industry and advice on what employment opportunities there are available and how to take advantage of them.
It was very encouraging to see the progress of the candidates over the course of the two weeks and discovering what they plan to do next. It is vital that we continue to encourage the next generation to consider a career in construction in order for the industry to thrive.”
The Building Futures course in Birmingham forms part of Wates’ commitment to ensuring its work at The Bank has a tangible economic and social impact beyond the build process. Wates is also set to build buildings one and four of LCR’s Axis Development elsewhere in the city centre. The project will create 50 apprenticeships and 200 training courses with work starting on site in April 2019.
Launched in 2006, Wates’ Building Futures programme is a two-week accredited vocational training course for individuals not in education, employment or training and to-date has welcomed more than 1,000 people in more than 100 programmes nationwide.