Building Futures is a two-week NVQ Level 1 course organised by Wates, one of three contractors chosen to refurbish Thurrock’s council housing stock over the next five years.
The successful trainees who completed the vocational programme in construction received their certificates from Cllr Val Morris-Cook, the council’s portfolio holder for housing.
She said: “What these trainees have achieved is so impressive and this will now give them really strong grounding to build a solid career.
“And this is only the beginning, now that our housing capital programme is off the ground I want to ensure that at least 30 per cent of all our work goes to local residents. The same applies to apprenticeships and I have made a promise to all these trainees that they will be on the main tender list to be considered for contracts going forward.”
The course targets local long-term unemployed people who are 19 or over and involves a combination of academic and practical training. It aims to provide all trainees with a valuable insight into the construction industry from plumbing, painting, tiling, woodwork and more.
In addition to the qualification, all candidates achieve a greater awareness of asbestos and receive a CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) to get a fundamental understanding of health and safety in the work place.
Sean Flanders, 24 from Grays who trained on the course said: “I found this two weeks really productive in giving us the resources we need to find work.
“Two weeks ago I didn’t know how to plumb a sink in and it’s just one of the new skills I have now learned. I am hoping this training will now help me to find work in ceiling suspension.”
Stuart Laird, Chief Operating Officer of Wates Living Space said these are essential requirements for anyone who wants to gain employment in the UK construction industry.
He added: “We really support this programme as a business. It’s been a very successful two weeks for all involved and a very positive step for Wates in continuing to work with Thurrock Council.
“We will be following up with all these candidates in the near future to see how they are progressing and wish them every success in gaining long-term employment.”