Birmingham youngsters step onto construction career ladder

10th December 2018

Four young people from Birmingham are now on their path to a career in construction, after securing apprenticeships on a multi-million-pound housing programme.

Troy Andrews, Tom Walsh, Luke Stevenson and Owen Daykin have joined energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE, after successfully completing an intensive two-week apprenticeship training programme.

Organised in partnership with construction training provider Salutem, the programme provided 14 unemployed young people with the practical and employability skills required to start them on the career ladder within the construction industry, with all candidates gaining a Health and Safety Awareness qualification and CSCS card before being interviewed for available apprenticeships and further training opportunities.

As part of the course, candidates also learnt about site safety procedures, took part in practical building tasks including brickwork and electrics and improved their CV writing and interview skills; all in preparation for working in the construction industry.

Apprentice Electrician Luke Stevenson (17), said: “I’ve always wanted to be an electrician so when I saw the training programme advertised on a job site, I applied for it. I found the course very useful. It gave me an insight into what it’s like to work on-site, with a good mix of practical and theory.

“When I found out that I got the apprenticeship, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start working. I have really enjoyed the experience so far and love working on-site; learning new skills and techniques from qualified colleagues.”

The four new apprentices join two other recent recruits; Apprentice Administrator Majada Yasmin and Trainee Quantity Surveyor Matthew Thomas, providing commercial support to the site team whilst studying for their academic qualifications.

Paul Bingham, Project Director at ENGIE’s Places & Communities division, said: “At ENGIE, we are committed to working with our partners to invest in apprenticeships for local people so that we can nurture and develop the next generation of the construction talent and leave a lasting legacy in the local community.

“We’re delighted to welcome our newest apprentices to the business. I joined the construction industry 25 years ago and believe that getting a qualification in a construction trade can lay the foundations for a lifelong career.”

The new apprentices are now working on ENGIE’s £160million eight-year contract to provide a repairs, refurbishment and maintenance service to approximately 9,000 homes in Erdington, Kingstanding and Sutton Coldfield, on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

John Jamieson, Head of Asset Management at Birmingham City Council, said: “Once again it is fantastic to see the skills development, training and employment opportunities ENGIE is providing for young people through this contract.”

Gemma Kemp, Director at Salutem, said: “We were delighted to work with ENGIE who share our aim of supporting young people starting their career in the construction industry. We enjoyed writing a bespoke course that met with the specific needs of ENGIE’s apprentice recruitment requirements and ensured that every young person who attended left with increased employability skills.”

So far, 20 local people have secured apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate internships on the contract and 60 students have undertaken work placements to gain the experience required to work in the construction industry.