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Work experience programme gets off to flying start

19 Aug 11 Young people and employers have been reaping the benefits of a new work experience programme piloted by CITB-ConstructionSkills to encourage more 16 to 18 year olds into the industry.

More than 120 would-be construction workers have spent two to four weeks working with a local construction company since the Experience Construction work experience placements started in April.

The pilot programme provides students aged 16-18, who have applied for a CITB- ConstructionSkills apprenticeship but have yet to secure an employer, with the opportunity to gain skills and get a taste of what working in the industry is like. 

Mike Bialyj, Employer Services Director at CITB-ConstructionSkills said:

“The Experience Construction programme is proving a great success with 125 young people currently undertaking or having completed a placement so far.

“If a young person works hard they have a very good chance of turning their placement into a real job, and if this isn’t possible then they have something very real and tangible to go on their CV to impress the next employer.

“As well as helping young people to establish a career in construction, initiatives such as these add value to industry by meeting the needs of employers and helping them to recruit the brightest and best young talent.

“We’re committed to working on behalf of industry to bring new blood into construction and this initiative can be a simple and cost effective way for employers to find the best young professionals and lay the foundations for their future workforce.”

One student who landed the job of his dreams through the programme is Bristol-based Craig Baptist, who secured two weeks of work experience with building firm England’s Finest over the Easter holidays.

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Following a very successful placement Craig was offered a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery with the company, which he is due to start in September 2011.

Craig said: “The work experience placement was great as I was able to demonstrate my skills and show them that I could really get on with the company, which has helped me to secure a three year Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery in the firm, and a guaranteed job at the end. I really want to work in the construction industry and having an apprenticeship will mean that I am able to learn a great trade to start off my working career.”

Two more school leavers who have benefitted from the scheme are Liversedge-based Ben Hatfield and Huddersfield-based Mark Heydon, who undertook placements with APA Concrete Repairs Ltd in Halifax.

Sam Brooke, Business Development Manager at APA Concrete Repairs Ltd said: “We took on Ben and Mark through the CITB-ConstructionSkills Experience Construction programme as we felt the scheme would be mutually beneficial to both the candidates and the company.

“Work experience offers individuals the chance to develop new skills and gain valuable experience in their chosen area of employment with the potential of permanent employment further down the line.

“Both Ben and Mark were extremely enthusiastic individuals who were quick to learn and able to adapt to their new surroundings.

“We also find that work experience students can have a different perspective on things and help to propagate new ideas and thought processes so it’s a breath of fresh air for the company. We have now taken on Ben as a Civil Engineering technician apprentice after he impressed us throughout his placement.”

Ben added: “I recognised that through the CITB-ConstructionSkills Experience Construction programme I would receive a good introduction to the construction industry. I’m now looking forward to getting a good grounding in Civil Engineering with APA, and hope that they will provide me with personal targets that will push the best out of me in order to progress my career further.”

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