CALA Homes (East) has partnered with The Prince’s Trust and Edinburgh College to launch a new initiative that aims to provide disadvantaged unemployed young people an opportunity to develop new skills and get hands-on experience.
Ten local people have successfully taken their first steps in the construction industry and secured apprenticeships after completing a ‘Get Into Construction’ course run by The Prince’s Trust in partnership with CALA and Edinburgh College.
Established in 1976, The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps young people gain the skills and confidence to move into employment, education or training. The ‘Get Into’ programme develops unemployed young people’s skills in a specific sector which can lead to progression opportunities such as employment, training and education.
The group, all aged between 18 and 25, spent two weeks at Edinburgh College completing basic training on construction skills, careers advice and gaining their CSCS card which enables them to work on construction sites. They then undertook vocational experience at CALA developments across Edinburgh.
David McGrath, managing director for CALA Homes (East), commented: “CALA is delighted to work with the Prince’s Trust, offering young people the opportunity to learn about the construction industry and the variety of careers that are available. The industry needs new talent if we are to address the national shortage in skilled trades and to have had such a positive response to the scheme from the trainees, CALA employees and our sub-contractors is fantastic.
“Unemployed young people often just need the chance to prove they have the motivation and talent required to get onto the career ladder. It’s clear from the feedback we’ve had from the teams on site that these young people have jumped at the chance to make the most of this opportunity. All ten trainees have now been offered a permanent apprenticeship either with CALA or one of our sub-contractors which is testament to the impact that these programmes can have. Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to get this pilot programme running and their enthusiasm and dedication has been key to making it such a success.”
Over the next six months, each trainee will continue to receive support from a Prince’s Trust mentor as they embark on their new careers in the construction industry.
Allan Watt, Director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland, added: “We were delighted to join forces with CALA Homes to offer young people the chance to get the skills and experience they need to break into the construction industry. Huge congratulations to all the young people on the programme.
“The Prince’s Trust Scotland is committed to supporting disadvantaged and unemployed young people into work, education and business. Our Get Into programme brings together employers and The Prince’s Trust to offer courses in everything from cooking to construction, logistics to retail. We would love to hear from any young person who wants to find out what opportunities we can offer to help them achieve their goals.”
John Laing, Head of the Institute of Construction and Building Crafts at Edinburgh College, added: “This employability programme is a great example of successful partnership working which has enabled students to realise their potential in the building crafts trade. For all of the students to have secured an apprenticeship after completing the programme is an excellent result and an effective way to capture the new wave of talent coming through in Joinery and Bricklaying.”
A celebration event for the trainees and partners was held at Edinburgh College. There were practical construction demonstrations and each of the trainees were presented with a certificate by CALA Homes’ Construction Director Brian Johnson and Scott Macfarlane, Senior Head of Enterprise & Employment at The Prince’s Trust Scotland. Cammie Day, Councillor for Forth Ward Edinburgh was also in attendance and offered words of congratulations and support.
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