All six of the young people who attended and completed the programme were offered employment with Advance Construction as groundsworkers and are still employed there almost a year later. They are also receiving wages that are above the Living Wage.
All six of the young men were repeat offenders and since they have secured this employment none have been charged with an offence. The Construction Skills programme has given these young men a career, improved their financial circumstances and shown their family and friends that you can change your life.
Successfully completing this specialised pre-recruitment training has meant that the young people have entered employment as some of the most qualified groundsworkers locally. This has resulted in them being deployed in particular roles on sites, such as banksmen, as they are part of a minority of the workforce who have this training. The programme, therefore, has not only allowed the candidates to access employment, but allowed them to enter the workforce as valued and skilled members of staff. This has further contributed to their well-earned sense of pride in their own achievements. The young men have also been working alongside a large number of Eastern European groundsworkers, developing solid friendships with these co-workers and learning about different cultures and values.
This project has been showcased to the Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn, at a national event with Scottish Government colleagues as a best practice model that we should be using to develop relationships with private sector employers.
One of the most exciting elements of this programme is that it has become a preferred recruitment model for both Advance and Kilmac. Kilmac has gone on to deliver a similar programme in Perth and both Kilmac and Advance have enough confidence in the programme that they approached Dundee City Council to take on another programme of young people starting in March 2017. This next programme will again target young people who have had contact with the criminal justice system and also those who have experienced the care system. As a further show of faith in this model, Advance Construction will provide this year’s successful candidates with a full week of accredited construction training at their training centre in Livingston. This means that this latest group of candidates will be the most qualified to go through the programme so far.