Jobseekers in Ipswich have been given a helping hand thanks to a training initiative provided by Wates Construction, with one candidate already securing full-time employment as a result.
The Building Futures programme is an award-winning two week pre-employability course for anybody not currently in employment, education or training who is over the age of 19.
16 candidates were selected from an interview and invited to attend the programme which featured taster sessions on topics such as manual handling and health and safety training. Candidates also got to grips with carpentry by building a bird box, some of which have now been donated to a local conservation charity to raise money.
Wates and programme organisers Ixion also provided the candidates with an employability session to offer advice and support with their personal CV and interview skills.
Thanks to the training and support, one participant has already been offered a job. Damian Patricks level of enthusiasm and commitment to learning new skills impressed SJP Contracts, a member of Wates Constructions supply chain. He has now been offered the opportunity to put his recent experience into practice onto a construction site at Copleston High School and Ormiston Endeavour Academy.
At the end of the programme, each candidate also received a BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Construction, accredited by the qualifications and credit framework (QCF). They also have the opportunity to sit their CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) test, without which they face a huge barrier to employment within the industry.
The Building Futures course has given me a huge boost of confidence. Id previously been suffering from depression and out of work for four years. I was a little bit anxious about starting but everyone has made me feel comfortable, Im working with a great bunch of people on site. Having a CSCS card now gives me opportunities and means I can look ahead to the future.
Mark Pniewski, Director of SJP Contracts, added:
Damian really stood out during the interviews and was clearly embracing the Building Futures programme. He was really enthusiastic when talking about the group visit to site. It is so rewarding to be involved in such a great process and be able to change peoples lives.
Ian Vickers, Regional Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties, said:
Built into our ethos is the commitment to ensuring our building work leaves a lasting local legacy. Building Futures provides the perfect opportunity for us to help local people implement real change in their own lives and Im delighted weve seen this once again with the Ipswich programme. I am also very pleased to see Damian secure his first step on a new career path thanks to our initiative and its significant focus on employable skills.
Over 1,700 people have taken part in over 150 Building Futures programmes since its launch in 2005, with Wates supporting over 67% into employment or further learning either with Wates, our supply chain or other employers and training providers.