We are now 8 weeks into the Construction Training Programme Tender we WON with Tower Hamlets Borough Council as part of their WorkPath Employment Service.
WorkPath provides Tower Hamlets residents support through training; access to work experience; apprenticeships; graduate schemes and other support for people who are looking to change their career path or just need advice and support in realising their full potential.
Our role as a training provider is to enable these job seekers to gain the right qualifications to enter into Construction roles within the borough.
The training programme has generated lots of interest so far and we have even had a visit from Mayor John Biggs who was extremely impressed with the calibre of our training, our people and the work that has gone in, behind the scenes, to make this programme successful!
We asked our own trainer Michael Maclean, who has delivered the training so far for this comprehensive programme, how he really feels the training is going so far…
First off, why do you think the local council is investing so much money in getting people living in their borough trained with life-long skills?
As the construction industry continues to grow, it is important to continually feed new people into this powerful industry to support the UK’s own economic growth strategy. This is particularly relevant to the Tower Hamlets area which has seen its landscape change dramatically in the last 20 years. There are over 44 current active building sites within the borough and these residents are almost guaranteed a full and lengthy successful career working within this varied and exciting industry.
What is the calibre of the students, their backgrounds and their willingness to learn and to grow their knowledge to put them into a career not just a job?
Students so far have been very enthusiastic and grateful to learn some new skills. These people have signed up to these training programmes off their own back which makes my life much easier as I am talking to a room full of optimistic people. Interestingly, the students come from quite a diverse background I have met college students expanding their education; older students wanting to restart their career or make a positive career change. The Tower Hamlets area has a large Asian community and I am really pleased that they have embraced this opportunity too.
What has been the most enjoyable part of training these young people?
Without sounding too sentimental, I really feel I am making a difference to the future of every student who has come through the door. The amazement on their face when they learn something new and actually the fact that the 7.30 am start hasn’t fazed them, so far all students have managed to handle this early start quite well.
Have there been any funny stories during this training programme?
An entertaining moment was when I was teaching a group on a construction site. As expected on a busy construction site, there were some major works being carried out literally next door to where I was teaching. My students tell me I do have a loud voice but, on this day, they could not hear a word. The students found it funny, but shouting over heavy duty industrial equipment is not much fun! The students did a lot of book reading that day!
What is the next step for your students?
WorkPath are there for these students on a daily basis. They have the contacts in place already to ensure these students go straight into employment on a construction site within the Tower Hamlets area. One class of my students were literally being plucked from the classroom while I was still training them. Because we do train on site, employers can immediately see how keen they are, how punctual they will be and the fact that they will come out of the course with qualifications such as PASMA, First aid, CSCS and IPAF MEWP by the time they have completed the course they are extremely employable.
What would you say to other local councils about this wonderful initiative?
Tower Hamlets council are really leading the way in terms of reducing their own unemployment levels. I know a number of other councils are also looking into these types of initiatives and I can honestly say, as being such an integral part of this programme, it is such a worthy cause. There are people out there who want to work but currently don’t have the right set of skills. The skills we teach at EndeavourUK will really help people start a career not just a job!
If you would like more information about Tower Hamlets Council WorkPath Employment Service then email info@endeavourUK.com
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