Young unemployed adults in Havering have been given specialist training to help boost their employment prospects through the borough’s biggest regeneration project.
Eleven students from Havering graduated on 6 December from the first ‘Building Futures’ training programme held in the borough. The free two-week training course included a site visit to the Napier and New Plymouth House development in Rainham to learn about the demolition process and gain hands-on experience of a construction site.
The graduation was celebrated with a certificate presentation ceremony. It was also attended by Steve Beechey, Strategy Director and Managing Director of Government Affairs for the Wates Group, and members of Havering Council’s HaveringWorks team, who help people struggling to find employment.
Troy Short, 28, who was living in a homeless shelter in Havering, was amongst the graduates from the course. He described his experience:
“I’m so happy with the course. It was very in-depth and the tutor was amazing. It’s given me the opportunity to get back into work, get back on my feet and progress in life.
“Now I’m on an apprenticeship with a company called Kilnbridge. I’ll be doing a three-year apprenticeship in demolition and once I’ve finished I’ll have a full-time job with the company.”
Building Futures is a free two-week employment and construction skills training programme targeted at adults who are not in education, employment or training, helping them to gain valuable practical experience to reinvigorate their career prospects.
The programme incorporates personal development skills training, such as confidence-building and behavioural skills, as well as CV preparation, interview skills and taster sessions in various trades. The programme also provides participants with the skills they need to complete the industry standard Provisional Construction Skill Certification Scheme (CSCS) test.
The programme comes as part of Havering Council’s partnership with Wates Residential to deliver more than 3,500 new homes over the next 12 to 15 years. As part of the project, the joint venture partners are investing in further education, training and skills for local people to support their commitment to deliver a borough-wide legacy.
Steve Beechey, Group Strategy Director and Managing Director of Government Affairs for Wates Group, said:
“I’m really proud of the 11 students who celebrated their Building Futures graduation on Friday. It was great to chat with them and hear about what they learnt from the course. Having started my career as a construction site labourer, I was able to share my journey with the students to give them an insight into the huge range of opportunities on offer to build a successful long-term career in the industry.
“Bringing the Building Futures programme to the borough is just one of the ways our partnership with Havering Council is helping to deliver a lasting legacy for the local community, as well as thousands of high quality new homes. Wates runs this programme across the country but this was the first time a course was held in Havering. We wish today’s graduates every success and look forward to tracking their progress into further training or local employment.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor Damian White, said:
“The Building Futures programme is a shining example of how our regeneration projects can bring about real change for our residents, and strengthen communities in so many ways. Regeneration is about more than just building homes, it is about having a lasting positive influence on the people who live and work in our borough, which will continue for generations to come.
“I am thrilled for those who graduated from the course and have taken first steps into a bright future, and I would like to wish them the best of luck.”
Another of the unique training and employment initiatives that Havering Council and Wates Residential have recently supported in the borough is the Pop Up Business School. More than 80 residents took part in the free business course in May, aimed at helping potential entrepreneurs and small businesses kick-start their careers by boosting their confidence and providing a mix of practical workshops.
According to the Pop Up Business School, the new businesses will provide a £507,000 annual boost to the local economy through benefit savings and increased incomes. The training course will therefore provide a lasting, positive impact on Havering.