Homebuilders Bring Summer Construction Training Programme to Young People in Salford
For five years, Salix Homes and Keepmoat have hosted the Summer Construction Programme in Salford, designed to develop future homebuilders in the North West.
Salix Homes and Keepmoat have brought together a variety of public, private and third sector partners to give young people of Salford the opportunity to try a variety of construction trades during the school summer holidays, as well as build life skills to help them to progress their future careers.
Salford has higher than the national average of 16- and 17-year-olds classed as NEET (not in employment, education, or training) with 5.8% compared to the average 2.6%. These young people often do not fulfil their potential because they lack the confidence, aspiration, skills and knowledge needed to progress into the world of work, or higher education.
With the aim of reducing the NEET figure in Salford, Salix Homes and Keepmoat have worked in partnership to deliver a series of bespoke training programmes which consist of a variety of hands-on construction taster sessions and fun employability sessions. Unlike other programmes, students gain the opportunity to work on a real-life site setting, delivering real world outcomes.
Eight students from Salford undertook this year’s course including Alfie Dean, Jessica Aldred, Leon Brown, Harley Lockley, Cory Marsh, Rhys Wood and Archie Wood.
The sessions are designed to build the young person’s confidence, raise their aspirations and awareness about the construction industry, as well as bridge the gap between the classroom and the site. This helps to re-engage the students in education, enabling them to achieve their full potential.
During the six-week programme, the students were able to try their hand at plumbing, electrical, plastering, tiling, and bricklaying skills, alongside visiting Keepmoat’s Riverbank View development to see first-hand what it is like to work on a live construction site. The course also provided an introduction into college life, allowing students to meet all the tutors at Salford City College, along with gaining advice and coping strategies to overcome anxiety or mental health issues.
The programme ended with a presentation event to celebrate the young people’s achievements, presenting them with certificates and a free tool kit donated by Travis Perkins.
Archie Wood, 16, from Kersal, who took part in this year’s training programme, said: “I thought the course was really good and it gave me something worthwhile to do during the school holidays. I hope it will help me further my career as a bricklayer.”
The construction industry is facing a skills shortage which restricts construction activity and increases labour costs. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has reported that the industry will need to find over 250,000 new recruits by 2026 to keep up with demand. With this in mind and understanding that young people are the future workforce for the industry, it is increasingly important for companies to engage and motivate this next generation of construction professionals.
Gareth Roberts, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, said: “As a company, we’re driven to help deliver a sustainable future, and for us, this means not only delivering much-needed energy-efficient homes to the area, but also making a difference within the community.
“The bespoke training programme at our Riverbank View development in Salford aims to inspire the next generation of employees and provide students the opportunity to try their hand at a number of trades within the construction industry, and enable them to make educated career choices and pave the way for their future.
“With Manchester being an area that is abundant with large projects currently underway, and with more developments to come, it is vital that we all work together to give young people the knowledge, skills and qualities to help them progress into employment.
“It’s been so rewarding to see that so many of the students who have taken part in the six-week programme are looking to move onto employment, training or further education, and we wish them all the very best in their future careers.”
Sue Sutton, Chief Executive officer at Salix Homes, said: “Here at Salix Homes, we’re dedicated to creating opportunities for local people. This is a fantastic opportunity for enthusiastic young people who want to make that initial step in the construction industry, allowing them to work with expert organisations who will guide them every step of the way.”
Councillor Jim Cammell, Lead Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services at Salford City Council said: “Once again Keepmoat and partners across Salford have provided an engaging and fun summer programme to help young people, who have just completed GCSEs, to get a deeper understanding of the construction industry.
“We know this industry has so much to offer young people, as a route into meaningful and well paid employment and careers, so we know how crucial these programmes are in getting key messages and experience to young people so they can make well informed decisions as they progress in their career journeys. Thanks to everyone who has been involved and well done to the young people, who have taken this opportunity to invest in their learning and skills, good luck with the next chapter!”
Gavin Paget, Account Manager at Travis Perkins said: “We are so proud of this, we as a company invest in our local communities working with Salix Homes, helping to invest in the future builders, it makes perfect sense to be a part of such a great training initiative.”
The Summer Construction Programme in Salford is run in partnership with Salix Homes and Keepmoat, and is supported by Salford City Council, Connexions, Salford City College, Inspiring Communities Together, Build Salford, and Travis Perkins.