CityWest Homes has teamed up with construction company Wates to build the futures of jobseekers in Westminster with a joint two-week programme which gave nine people an insight into what it’s like to work in construction.
The training programme, which took place this summer, carried out by CityWest Homes, Wates and the Construction South Framework for Parliamentary Estates gave participants valuable insight and experience into different elements of the development and construction industry by providing them with the opportunity to take part in a range of different activities.
Candidates were taken on a site visit to Tasman House, a refurbishment project being delivered by Wates to turn the former Family Court into office and retail units. The programme also offered mock interviews with some of Wates’ supply chain partners, including O’Neill & Brennan, Resourcing Group, Stonewest and Nene Valley Fire.
The fortnight finished with the completion of a community project at Lillington & Longmoore Garden Residents Association Community Hall, which saw participants paint the internal walls inside the hall’s bar area.
Launched in 2005, the Building Futures programme is a two-week accredited vocational training programme aimed at adults aged 19 and above, who are not in education, employment and training. During the course in Westminster, the candidates achieved Asbestos Awareness e-learning certificates and were awarded with their BTEC Level 1 in construction. The certificates were awarded during an official presentation on the last day, which included a speech by Jonny Wates, Director at Wates.
Keith Wizzard completed the Westminster Building Futures course and commented: “I have spent many years working as a trusted chauffeur to high profile clients. After a break in employment I did the Building Futures course - being out of work for so long it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it has given me my confidence back. I’m excited and see a future working in construction. Wates has invested in me, by giving me this great opportunity I have gained new skills and met some really great people, and I will remember this course for a long time.”
The Westminster Building Futures programme is operated by Wates on behalf of CityWest Homes as part of its contract to deliver repairs across 21,000 properties in Westminster managed by CityWest Homes.
Jim Paterson, Property Services Director at CityWest Homes said: “It is fantastic to see people in Westminster getting so much out of the Building Futures programme. Supporting schemes like this has real positive impact on the communities in which we work and we’re proud to have partnered with Wates to provide people with opportunities they may not have otherwise had.”
David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, said: “One of the most rewarding aspects of this project is engaging with local people, and being able to provide them with an insight into how our industry operates, as well as the many employment opportunities it presents. That’s why we’re so pleased to have welcomed members of the local community to take part in our Building Futures programme here in Westminster.
“We have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and determination shown by the candidates and have no doubt this will set them on the path towards career success.”
All graduates of the Building Futures programme receive six months support afterwards to help them find sustainable employment. The course has so far been completed by 1,100 people across the UK.