Kingdom Housing Association is to launch a Construction Academy to create work opportunities for young people and help address the growing skills shortage in the construction industry.
As part of its affordable house-building programme Kingdom has already partnered with its main contractors to support 22 apprenticeships and has helped to create a further nine work placement opportunities.
Now the Association is to work with its contractors to build on that success.
Lynne Dunn, coordinator of Kingdom’s Fife Works, which supports the delivery of employment and training opportunities created through community benefit clauses in affordable housing contracts, said: “Building on the previous successes of Kingdom and its contractors, we are pleased to announce that Fife Works will be running a Construction Academy to support the recruitment needs of existing and new affordable housing developments, in particular, the regeneration of Fraser Avenue in Inverkeithing.”
Lynne added: “A 4-6 week training course is planned for June 2017, where 12 unemployed Fife individuals will undertake a variety of accredited construction training courses including CSCS, Manual Handling, PASMA, Working at Heights and Asbestos Awareness followed by a work placement at one of Kingdom’s affordable housing sites with Campion Homes.”
Dougie Herd, construction director with Campion Homes, said: “We are very pleased to be participating in the planned Construction Academy that will take place later this year which aims to provide real employment opportunities for local people, as part of the East Inverkeithing regeneration project.”
He added: “We have worked with Kingdom, as one of their framework contractors for many years and the continuity of work, through a planned programme of projects, provides us with the opportunity to incorporate various community benefits into the capital contracts. Over the last few contracts we have successfully been able to help four people with training and placement opportunities on our sites and have created 23 new jobs, including five new apprenticeships.”
Bill Banks, Kingdom Group’s chief executive, added: “New development projects provide opportunities to create community benefits as well as providing good quality affordable housing. The Construction Academy is an example of how we have been able to provide added value in terms of education, skills development and training, as part of our commitment to build strong communities.”
Ewan O’Donnell, who gained a job with Campion Homes after approaching Fife Works for help to find a job, welcomed the launch of the Construction Academy.
He said: “It is a great idea. It certainly worked for me. I was supported to attend various training courses including emergency First Aid, manual handling, Health and Safety Awareness and I gained my Construction Skills Certification Scheme card. I then had a period of work experience, through Campion Homes, at a Kingdom Housing development site in Leven. After further training I was employed by Campion on a full time basis.”
Ross McCabe, who was an unemployed Kingdom tenant but secured a job with Campion Homes after contacting Fife Works to find work, is another supporter of the new Construction Academy.
Fife Works identified a demand for plant machinery operators across Fife and Tayside and organised training for Ross to gain a Construction Plant Competency card. After seeing his CV, Campion agreed to employ him as a labourer on their Dunfermline sites. This role also included plant machinery operation, allowing him to gain essential hours of experience of driving the machines. He has now saved up and bought himself a car, allowing an easier commute to work.
Ross said: “I’m really thankful to the guys from Fife Works for supporting me to get through the plant operating training. Without the support to get through the training and help to actually get a job I wouldn’t be where I am today. Previously I had been working with agencies on short term contracts but now feel that I can use this training to build a career.”
Anyone interested in attending the Academy, or seeking more information, they should call Kingdoms Fife Works Team on 01592 862304.