Dejan Stojsavljevic (24), a Production Management Trainee for Wates Construction, has made the call to action following the release of new figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), which recently reported that 3,110 new construction jobs will be created in the East Midlands between 2016 and 2020.
Dejan, who is currently studying towards a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment, recently held a presentation for fellow students at Leicester College, where he discussed his route into the construction industry.
Designed to inform students on the many opportunities available to them, the presentation forms part of Wates’ engagement with young people in the East Midlands. This commitment has seen the contractor recently create 43 on-site work experience and apprenticeship positions across its projects in the region.
“Pursuing a career in the construction industry is often overlooked by young people. For me, it was the next logical step. As the sector continues to grow, increasing numbers of employment and training opportunities are being created for the area.
As a result, it is imperative that contractors take steps to engage more individuals across the East Midlands to ensure a fresh stream of talent is channelled into the industry. Wates is a truly supportive company to work for and I look forward to reaping the benefits of working in such a rewarding sector.”
A graduate of Strathclyde University, Dejan has been employed by Wates Construction since September 2015 and currently attends Leicester College once a week.
The three-year trainee graduate programme with Wates sees Dejan maintain close-working relationships with clients, assist on-site management teams and oversee appointed supply chains across construction projects in the East Midlands.
Across the East Midlands almost 250 construction apprenticeships and work experience placements have been delivered in the last 12 months. The empa Training Academy, supported by Wates and eight other construction partners, creates opportunities for young people who benefit from on-the-job training, which provides them with invaluable experience that cannot be taught or achieved by sitting in a classroom.
Wates’ presence in the East Midlands includes the recent transformation of Dakeyne Street in Nottingham and the multi-million pound delivery of a refuse depot scheme in Leicestershire, both of which were procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework.
The empa framework agreement, which is managed by Scape Group, was established in 2008 by local authorities to improve the cost efficiency of property services for local communities.
The empa Training Academy is part of the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) Framework and is supported by Nottingham-based Futures.
Phil Harrison, Managing Director, Wates Construction, Midlands and North, commented:
“As demand for skilled construction workers grows ever stronger, it is vital that we continue to seek out and invest in emerging talent. Only then will we make sufficient headway in bridging the skills gap. Investment in our graduate programme, alongside trainee positions, work experience placements and apprenticeships has been a focus for Wates for many years in readiness for the growth our sector is now seeing.
As a trainee himself, Dejan shares this passion for encouraging young people into the sector, a commitment that will help secure the longevity of the industry’s future workforce.”