Unemployed young people from North East Wales are getting their first taste of work on a major construction site thanks to a partnership between a top builder and The Prince’s Trust.
Seven of them have started work this month on sites being developed by the award-winning Anwyl Group and they are getting a taste of a range of the skills required.
The Anwyl Group have worked with The Prince’s Trust, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, to select suitable candidates aged between 18 and 30 for a place on the ‘Get Into Construction’ Programme, providing training, qualifications and finally, to complete work experience with sub-contractors across five of their sites.
Part of that training provided is a Level One Health and Safety Certificate and earning a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card which allows them to work on construction sites. All training on the programme has been funded by The Anwyl Group.
Two trainees, 18-year-old Tom Williams, from Minera, near Wrexham, and Jason Bedford, 23, from Holywell, are at Llys Raddington, in Flint, where Anwyl Construction, the company’s construction division, are building an £8.5 million contract extra-care development for leading social housing provider The Pennaf Housing Group.
Others are at Anwyl Homes’ developments at Springdale Meadows, at Hawarden, Parc Aberkinsey, in Rhyl, and Croes Atti, Oakenholt, and at Anwyl headquarters in Ewloe.
Tom, who is working with bricklayers Corbuild, said:
“My dad is a brickie so I’ve always been interested in construction and it’s great to get the opportunity.”
“I’m enjoying it and hopefully the experience of actually working on site and laying bricks will stand me in good stead and the CSCS card means I am able to work on sites now.
“I had been struggling to find work but someone mentioned The Prince’s Trust in the Job Centre and asked if I was interested and it has been great.”
Jason, who also has family in the building trade, says that getting the CSCS card and the experience of working with electrical and mechanical contractors MACP could lead to him getting work with a relative.
“I’m living in a hostel at the moment and they put me forward for The Prince’s Trust and it’s been very good and is a real step up the ladder toward getting into the building industry and getting a trade.”
Tom Anwyl, Director of Anwyl Construction, said: “We have worked with the Prince’s Trust in the past because they do excellent work to help young people get into the construction industry, this is what inspired us to run our own ‘Get Into Construction’ Programme with them.
“There is a huge shortage of skilled workers in the industry and we ensure we use our projects as a vehicle to bring people in and fill those gaps, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for young people to make lifelong careers in construction.
“We have invested heavily in this programme to provide the training, which equips these young people to work on building sites and provides the qualifications in the form of the CSCS card which permits them to do so and which can act as a passport to a career in construction.”
“We would like to thank our many sub-contractors who have come on board with this initiative and welcomed the trainees into their site teams to complete their work experience, our strong working partnerships with our supply chain is what makes programmes like this a success.”
He was echoed by two of the sub-contracting firms working on the Llys Raddington site with Mark Corbett, of Director of Corbuild, saying: “It’s great to be involved with The Prince’s Trust because it’s all about getting young people involved in the building industry.
“There’s been a missed generation of skilled tradespeople and there is plenty of work out there now and plenty of opportunity.”
Steve Jones, Site Project Manager with MACP, added:
“These projects are really important because there is a real shortage of young people coming through and with work really picking up now we are looking for skilled people and apprentices.”
“Over the years the building industry seems to have been pushed to one side and in the recession a lot of tradespeople decided to take other career paths so now there’s a real need for new faces coming through.”
Craig Sparrow, Corporate Director Commercial Services for the Pennaf Housing Group praised the initiative and congratulated all involved: “We really appreciate the excellent partnership work between our Llys Raddington contractor, Anwyl Construction, and The Prince’s Trust to support trainees in the construction sector. Well done to the trainees involved on their hard work and commitment.”