Our initial pilot project for Construct a Career focused on Birmingham and demonstrates how our Construct a Career programme can provide local solutions for local challenges.
We chose Birmingham for our pilot because it absolutely exemplifies the recruitment challenges faced by the construction industry. Birmingham is the focus for a lot of investment which translates into a buoyant construction sector – just look at the number of cranes around the city.
Contractors need local labour and local government is keen to address areas of high unemployment. It’s a perfect storm, needing some joined-up thinking to address both sides of the conundrum.
At O’Neill and Brennan we know that our contractor customers are looking for good people to start on site and we also know that the situation in Birmingham is likely to get more acute through the busy summer months.
Of the three companies that form the Construct A Career programme, it’s our partner Cidori that has been instrumental in helping to fill our first training course.
Cidori’s speciality is in finding people who are looking to start a career in construction. Working with job centres, colleges and local advertising the organisation can target specific areas of high unemployment and close to specific construction projects.
The attraction for the trainees is clear: two weeks of training that provides practical guidance on job preparation plus a route to gain the CSCS card that will be critical to get them on site. Just as importantly, the training is delivered free to the trainees through government funding.
Our initial twenty trainees who completed the Birmingham pilot course are a typical mix: some are long term unemployed, some are people who have previously worked in construction but have let their registration slip, others are looking for a new career opportunity.
All are attracted by the joined-up approach that combines training with job opportunities. At the end of the course, all twenty candidates were registered a candidate with O’Neill and Brennan to get the opportunity of applying for the many Birmingham-based roles that we have available.
We will, of course, be following the fortunes of this initial cohort of trainees. Proof that our approach works will be provided over the coming months as our trainees move on to regular employment and, we hope, embark on a career full of opportunity.
So far we have demonstrated that we can fill our training course and provide site-ready labour actively seeking employment.
This is the type of practical, local training that we can organise to suite local need. Following on from the success of the Birmingham pilot we currently have similar training programmes planned for Stockport and London.
Watch this space to find out how our recruits have fared in the job market.