Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, visited a landmark new Cardiff housing development on Monday, 20 March, to meet local young people taking their first steps into a career in the building industry through The Prince’s Trust’s Get into Construction programme.
Housing developer Lovell, Tirion Group and Cadwyn Housing Association are partnering with the youth charity to help local unemployed people aged 18 to 25 launch their construction careers.
Sixteen young people from Cardiff are benefiting from the three-week programme which will enable them to improve their employability skills, gain a health and safety qualification and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card – an essential qualification for anyone who wishes to work on a construction site – as well as valuable work experience at a ‘live’ construction development.
The Minister met the Cardiff trainees during their work experience learning practical skills with the help of the Lovell construction team building The Mill, Canton, a £100 million housing development – one of Wales’ largest urban regeneration programmes – which is creating 800 homes for sale and rent on the former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site in west Cardiff.
At the end of the training programme, all successful candidates will have the chance to be interviewed for jobs and training opportunities with Lovell, the company’s subcontractor partners and shared apprenticeship scheme Y Prentis. The young people are also mentored for six months after the programme’s end to help them make the most of the experience.
The Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: “By 2020 Wales will need 17,000 construction and building roles so attracting, nurturing and retaining skills talent to this important sector is vital for Wales’ economic growth.”
Kayleigh Nasir, 22,from Pentwyn, Cardiff, one of four young women taking part in the Trust’s programme, said: “I’ve always been interested in construction – my family work in construction – but I never had the opportunity to find out about construction careers at school.
“The course is really good – I’m learning so much more than I expected. I’ve been unemployed for about 18 months and have tried hard to find a job. The Prince’s Trust course is a great chance for me. I’m using the course to find out more about the different construction trades, such as carpentry and bricklaying, and what they involve and work out what will suit me best.
Lovell regional managing director Kate Rees said: “It was a great honour to welcome Julie James to meet these young people taking their first steps into construction through The Prince’s Trust’s wide-ranging training programme. Delivering significant job and training opportunities for people living locally, alongside the new homes we are building, is a crucial part of our involvement in The Mill, Canton.”
The development’s show homes and marketing suite are expected to be unveiled in early summer 2017 with the first homes for sale expected to be ready for residents to move in during autumn 2017.