Employability and education | Wates

We want to raise awareness about the exciting range of career options in the built environment and attract a more inclusive and larger talent pool to the sector.

We recognise the importance of developing ‘work ready’ employability skills from an early age, building bridges between school and work and continuing to extend opportunities to access or re-enter the workplace to those that find themselves excluded from it.

Our employability programmes

Equipping people to explore the world of work, and upskilling them to secure employment, builds confidence and improves life opportunities

Construct a career

In 2020, to increase upskilling opportunities, we piloted a new two-week pre-employment programme in partnership with labour agency O’Neill and Brennan and training provider Cidori.

The theory-based employability programme is designed to support unemployed people into work and has been  enhanced twith a  tour of a live Wates construciton site and celebration event. We are now working to  offer the Construct a Career programme more widely.

In light of Covid 19, a digital training programme was developed to enable people to continue upskilling from home, putting them in a stronger position to seek employment in the future.

Wates residential development housing uk

Building Futures

In 2006, Wates established Building Futures, a pre-employment programme to support unemployed adults to gain a qualification and employability support. To date, 1,800 people have been supported.

The programme, offered free to participants, encourages those facing barriers accessing the workplace to take positive steps to gaining employment or further training through practical skills tasters. Over 50% have moved into work following the programme. Both Building Futures and Construct a Career provide the opportunity to gain a CSCS card required to work on site.

To be eligible, candidates need to be unemployed, 19+ (16+ in Wales) and be in receipt of benefits. Our delivery partner, Ixion, also checks previous levels of academic qualification to ensure funding eligibility.

Building Futures
Since the programmes inception in 2006, Wates has supported 1,800 people through the Building Futures programme

Build Yourself

Wates is committed to raising aspirations and encouraging people to make positive changes to their lives by showcasing the construction industry as a career of choice.  One of the ways in which we do this is through our education outreach programme, Build Yourself.

With a key focus on social mobility, the programme aims to inspire the next generation through building bridges between education and industry. We work with identified schools and partner with external organisations such as Career Ready, Skills Builder Partnership and Let Me Play to create this unique programme for our business, comprising mentoring, workshops, workplace visits and summer programmes.

The Build Yourself Internship Programme lasts for 4 weeks (a combination of 3 weeks on site or office and 1 week on our summer residential). The internships that we provide enable the students to build experience which is vital in transitioning from education to rewarding employment.

In 2020 Wates launched Build Yourself Junior, an employability skills and construction programme aiming to raise awareness among primary aged children about the range of exciting career opportunities within built environment and keep minds open about the sector’s viability as a future career path, especially for young women and BAME students.

In 2019, the Build Yourself programme supported 32 young people through one-to-one mentoring and over 25 masterclasses and workplace visits.

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