Higgins Construction and New City College have launched an innovative pre-employment traineeship programme to give 18-24 year olds the opportunity to gain an introduction into the construction industry. The programme is aimed at those who may be unemployed or not ready for employment or a traineeship.
Higgins Construction is offering work placements for learners to gain valuable site experience and an interview for employment. The traineeship also serves as an introduction to the various trades available, such as concrete forming, plumbing, electrical, painting and decorating, carpentry and multi trade. There is also the opportunity to progress into an apprenticeship if they are successful.
Jeff Joseph, Community Investment Manager for Higgins Construction comments, “As an organisation we are committed to training and employing local labour and are delighted to have formed this partnership with New City College. An occurring problem we come across time and time again is young people having no work experience or on-site experience. We feel it was important to give the next generation an opportunity to gain that valuable experience.”
As part of the 12 week to six month programme employability training, English, Maths, L1 health and safety and a vocational qualification are undertaken. Learners are also able to gain their CSCS card training and take the test, removing one of the biggest barriers for getting on site.
Jeff continues, “After a lot of hard work and dedication from the teams at Higgins Construction and New City College, we came up with a manageable unpaid 12-week pre-employment training programme ‘Boot Camp’. We hope that the programme will allow participants to gain valuable life experiences, boost their confidence, obtain site experience, get college and construction experience and have the opportunity to employment at the end of the programme.”
Stuart Smith, Business Development for New City College comments, “We are delighted to be working with Higgins Construction on our first ‘boot camp’ in the construction industry. Many of those taking part may have not been successful at school and just wanted to get into the world of work. However, they may not have had the skills to be able to do this. Our boot camp allows them to gain the necessary experience to give them a step up.
“We have already carried out our first 12 week programme at Kings Crescent in London Borough of Hackney and are delighted that 7 out of 12 of the learners are now in employment. Obtaining a CSCS card can sometimes be a huge barrier for those looking to get into the construction industry, so completing the 12-week traineeship programme is another way of obtaining this and getting into the sector."
Billy Pamphilon took part in the 12-week traineeship. He studied plumbing for three years at Hackney Community College and then was unemployed for two years until he found the opportunity to do an multi trade apprenticeship through New City College.
Billy adds, “I enjoy getting up and going to work, and learn a lot from the team on site. I would recommend it to people because it is a helpful way of getting into the construction industry as you are able to try different areas out. I enjoy working at Higgins’ site, Kings Crescent where I do four days a week and the other day is at college. I hope to stay on with Higgins and gain as much experience and progress from there.”
According to the Employment-Related Services Association, in 1997 44% of young people had a Saturday job compared to just 18% in 2014, because of the focus on academic qualifications. This has led to youngsters being unprepared for the world of work.