Higgins Work Placement Programme allows young people to develop essential skills

Posted 26/10/2023

Throughout the summer Higgins has been running its Work Placement Programme across its developments to provide young people of all ages with the opportunity to gain experience working within the industry as well as develop essential skills.

Launched in 2022, in collaboration with Skills Builder Partnership, the programme was awarded  Impact Level 4 status which is given to programmes which combine the chance for individuals to reflect on the essential skills before and after applying them, with programme content that is specifically targeted on making steps of progress.

Amy Reynolds, Director of ESG at Higgins Partnerships comments, “As an industry we must continue to work with organisations such as Skills Builder Partnership to promote the range of opportunities within the construction industry, as well as empower the next generation to develop and very importantly be able to communicate the transferable skills they have gained that will help them in their future careers.

“As part of our programme we focused on developing three essential skills and we have been really pleased with the progress made by all our work placements. It's also really rewarding to see a number of them find further opportunities as a result of what they have achieved.”

Daniel joined Higgins at its Ecole development in Southwark. Born and raised in the Caribbean, from a young age he had a keen interest in the construction industry. When he moved to the UK he enrolled into Bradford College and completed a Construction and Built Environment and Engineering course, both Level 3. He is currently studying at South Bank University and during his two-week placement had the opportunity to work alongside the site team, attending meetings, handling small site management tasks, and building on his three essential skills, listening, speaking and teamwork.

Daniel said, “The team has been friendly and welcoming from the time I walked into the office. Their real warmth, professionalism, and readiness to encourage and guide me has helped to make my move into the space very smooth. Each interaction has been marked by compassion, patience, and a genuine desire to help me.”

The team were so impressed with Daniel that he has been offered the role of Site Admin/Liaison which he happily accepted.

Jamie joined the Higgins team at Hanwell Square, Ealing for two weeks. As an Ealing resident he studied NVQ Level 2 in plumbing and has always had a passion for the construction industry. He buddied up with one of the T4 plumbing subcontractors who supervised and mentored him throughout his placement, where he learnt various skills such as putting lagging on pipes, assembling toilets and pipe insulation.

Jamie said, “My supervisor was very patient and respectful and allowed me to learn at my own pace and take time to explain all the task to me, I could ask questions if I didn’t understand anything.”

Since Jamie’s placement, Higgins’ Apprenticeship Training Provider, JBT has helped Jamie gain employment on a project in Greenford, Ealing for five months to help him gain his NVQ Level 2.

Following the placements, the six candidates improved their three essential skills.

  • Listening – overall improvement of 7.4%
  • Speaking – overall improvement of 7.73%
  • Teamwork – overall improvement of 8.42%

Following feedback all six candidates said they would choose to work for Higgins in the future and ticked ‘strongly agree’ when asked ‘I feel supported by my supervisor/buddy throughout my placement.

Five out of six ticked strongly agree when asked “I have developed in these essential skills over the course of my placement.” With the remaining candidate ticking Agree. Four out of six ticked strongly agree for “This work experience opportunity has given me a strong desire to work in the construction industry.” The remaining two ticked Agree.