Wates teams up with CityWest to build futures in Westminster

National construction company, Wates has once again helped to build the futures of jobseekers, this time in Westminster, in a joint two-week programme delivered by its Living Space and Construction business units.

The training programme, which took place this summer, was carried out in partnership with CityWest Homes and the Construction South Framework for Parliamentary Estates and gave nine individuals the opportunity to gain vital hands-on experience in plumbing and joinery.

The candidates were taken on a site visit to Tasman House, where Wates is currently undertaking refurbishment work that will turn the former Family Court into office and retail units. They also took part in mock interviews with some of Wates’ supply chain partners. The companies included O’Neill & Brennan, Resourcing Group, Stonewest and Nene Valley Fire, and the exercise provided the candidates with much needed practice and valuable experience of interviewing with real companies.

The fortnight finished with the completion of a community project at Lillington & Longmoore Garden Residents Association Community Hall, which saw participants paint the internal walls inside the hall’s bar area.

Wates launched the Building Futures programme in 2005, with the two-week accredited vocational training programme aimed at adults aged 19 and above, who are not in education, employment and training. During the course in Westminster, the candidates achieved Asbestos Awareness e-learning certificates and were awarded with their BTEC Level 1 in construction. The certificates were awarded during an official presentation on the last day, which included a speech by Jonny Wates, Director at Wates.

I have spent many years working as a trusted chauffeur to high profile clients. After a break in employment I did the Building Futures course – being out of work for so long it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it has given me my confidence back. I’m excited and see a future working in construction.
Wates has invested in me, by giving me this great opportunity I have gained new skills and met some really great people, and I will remember this course for a long time.”
Keith Wizzard, participant, Westminster Building Futures

The Westminster Building Futures programme is operated by Wates on behalf of CityWest Homes as part of its contract to deliver repairs across 21,000 properties in Westminster managed by CityWest Homes.

It is fantastic to see people in Westminster getting so much out of the Building Futures programme. Supporting schemes like this has real positive impact on the communities in which we work and we’re proud to have partnered with Wates to provide people with opportunities they may not have otherwise had.”
Jim Paterson, Property Services Director at CityWest Homes

One of the most rewarding aspects of this project is engaging with local people, and being able to provide them with an insight into how our industry operates, as well as the many employment opportunities it presents. That’s why we’re so pleased to have welcomed members of the local community to take part in our Building Futures programme here in Westminster.

We have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and determination shown by the candidates and have no doubt this will set them on the path towards career success.”
David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space

All graduates of the Building Futures programme receive six months support afterwards to help them find sustainable employment. The course has so far been completed by 1,100 people across the UK.