Case Study 002Kier: Construction Industry Training & Work Experience
Kier is working with employers in its supply chain, local authorities and charities to provide training and work experience for care leavers, ex-offenders and other under-represented groups in order to fill local, construction-industry skills gaps across the country.
Kier is one of the largest employers in the UK working in the built environment, with regional offices throughout. Through their long-standing, social-value commitment, Kier supports disadvantaged people in seeking employment. Kier hopes to provide targeted, specialist support for care leavers through the Care Leavers’ Covenant.
As part of their Covenant commitment Kier, with their supply chain, will establish a training facility on large projects. These will provide a one-stop shop for the training and work experience of under-represented groups, including care leavers, in jobs within the built environment.
In order to make the project work it has been important for Kier to build partnerships with a range of other organisations. The opportunities for employment and training at their site-based training facilities will be promoted to care leavers (and other target groups) and partners in a number of ways:
- Job Centre Plus is a key partner in identifying anybody who might be looking for work in the construction specialisms.
- CITB are ensuring that the training provided meets the needs of employers.
- Local authorities who, through their care-leaving teams, will be able to make referrals to the programme.
- Talent Match is an organisation that works with vulnerable people and they will help identify suitable candidates for the programme.
- Spectra First will provide a support package for care leavers on the programme which will include mentoring and other personal support.
The offer: Construction Industry Training & Work Experience
Kier aspires to provide opportunities for care-leavers from across the country to develop much-needed skills within our industry and providing them with a sustainable career. This will contribute to the Department for Work and Pensions’ target for training care leavers under the national Care Leaver Covenant strategy.
Training for successful applicants will last for three to four weeks and it will include employer-recognised qualifications, e.g. the CSCS card training (essential health-and-safety qualification allowing access to building sites), Manual Handling, etc. dependent on the careers they are developing into. They will also undertake sessions on personal development and employability skills. Training will be delivered by a number of carefully selected providers. The work-experience element, for one or two weeks, will follow the training. Participating employers (Kier and its supply chain) will guarantee interviews for participants who acquire these essential qualifications through successfully completing the training.
The training facility will be managed by Kier, working with local partners and stakeholders.
It is important to ensure that there is consistency in how the project is endeavouring to recruit people from various places and from various partner organisations. An Expression of Interest Form has been developed to be completed at the Job Centre or with other partners. This will provide a standard process for each individual interested in registering for the programme and it also sets out a clear process for candidates to follow.
A second challenge is that projects can be subject to delays and shifts in timetables, with unpredictable elements such as changing design or planning permission. To ensure enough opportunities for care leavers, a number of sites within a region will be engaged on the project. This will ensure that there are sufficient work-experience placements available as and when they are required.
DO make sure that you work within the existing infrastructure so that you are not trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ – build partnerships with local stakeholders.