​ Journey into Construction

Friday, 23rd June 2017

Journey into Construction

Seven budding constructors aged 16-23 from across the Highlands recently forged their first steps into the industry by taking part in our first ever Journey into Construction scheme.

A two-week initiative organised by DYW Inverness and Central Highland, in partnership with CITB and SPW Management Solutions, we worked closely with our partners and local employers to create a tailor-made programme that would leave participants with an insight into the industry as well qualifications that will stand them in good stead for future careers!

We were excited to first welcome the group for a week of training to prepare them for heading out on site during their second week. We are pleased to report that all successfully completed the Level One British Safety Council Safety within a Construction Environment certificate, emergency first aid training and a manual handling course, with Sean Gemmell from Dingwall Academy commenting that the first aid course will help him pursue a career in construction or as a medic in the police.

As well as the formal qualifications, we were sure to cover the basics, including workplace conduct and dress code – things you may not even think of but are key in interview – and workplace – success!

Andy Maxtone, DYW’s programme manager, said: “The certifications the trainees gained means they can go and work on a construction site straight away, without the employer having to put them through training – which would usually be the case – providing young people with a unique selling point from which to launch their careers.”

The first week ended with the team’s first site visit hosted by Wills Bros at the ambitious Inverness West Link project. Here, we tested the nerve of our trainees as their knowledge was assessed in industry-facilitated mock interviews – a fantastic experience for the recruits!

With week one successfully ticked off and bolstered by brilliant feedback, the group headed off for a week’s work experience with our fantastic local employers – including Robertson Construction Northern, Compass Building and Construction Services, Cairngorm Group, Wills Bros and William Gray.

Both the employers and the young participants reaped the benefits of this experience – so much so that one was offered an additional four weeks paid work experience with Compass Building to see if he would consider a tiling apprenticeship with the company!

Jade O’Hara of Robertson Group commented: “We were delighted to support the first year of DYW’s Journey into Construction programme. Initiatives such as this are invaluable for students to use as a platform to explore a variety of careers in our industry, available to them locally and nationally.

“We are passionate about youth employment because we appreciate they are essential to the future of Robertson and Scotland’s growing economy. The construction industry is facing a skills shortage and it is essential we educate our young people about the variety of rewarding careers available to them in our industry.”

It’s hoped that the incredible success of the pilot programme will pave the way for future programmes focusing on different sectors and industries to provide even more young people with CV-enhancing skills.