Course brings jobs for Jordan and Kieran
Helping people realise work potential
One of the many benefits a major community infrastructure project delivered through hub North Scotland can offer, is the opportunity for training or jobs for the long-term unemployed.
That has been particularly important on the £34 million replacement Alness Academy, which hub North Scotland is delivering on behalf of The Highland Council with Kier Regional Building Scotland as our main contractor.
Alness, along with neighbouring Invergordon and Dingwall, have an unemployment rate of 3.7% - well above the Highland regional figure of 2.4% and higher than the Scottish national rate of 3.1%.
Kier worked closely with Invergordon Jobcentre Plus to offer a Construction Pathway Programme for long-term unemployed, based at the Alness Academy site.
The programme aims to help people taking part gain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which gives them essential health and safety awareness and is a requirement of getting employment on a construction site.
The course also provides experience of a range of constructions skills from Kier and sub-contractor staff with the aim of identifying a trade they are interested in, which in turn could lead to employment opportunities.
At the end of the programme, 18-year-old Jordan Macaskill and Kieran Maiden, 24, were both given permanent positions by sub-contractors and are currently working on the Alness project.
Jordan, from Tain, has not had a permanent job since he left school at the age of 16 and was delighted to be hired by Linn-Tech Scotland, who are carrying out 128 window and curtain walling installations in the new school.
He admitted: “I never expected to get a job and was so surprised when I got the phone call. I had learned about the programme at an open day at the Jobcentre and thought I might get some useful experience.”
Jordan added: “It is brilliant because every day is different and the guys I work with are not afraid to help and pass on advice. I can’t really believe I am actually working.”
Kieran, from Alness, had been unemployed for nine-months after a series of jobs and thought the programme might give him some useful pointers for construction opportunities. He was delighted to be offered a role as a labourer with one of the bricklaying teams employed by sub-contractor Lesterose Scotland.
He explained: “I had never really thought about bricklaying but it is such a fantastic feeling to be working and I am learning all the time because my workmates are so helpful.
“It is a great weight off my shoulders and I now feel I have earned a sleep when I go home at night.”
Following the success of the initial programme, Kier are now considering running this programme again to support the Alness project and surrounding communities.
Fraser Innes, operations director for hub North Scotland, said: “This initiative by Kier is a great example of how a project can benefit everyone in a community. We are delighted that Kieran and Jordan are now in permanent employment and this fantastic outcome clearly demonstrates the added social value our projects can bring.”← back to projects