Bridgend residents boost careers prospects on construction course

A group of unemployed local residents are building careers in construction after successfully completing a new community training programme in Bridgend.

Two have got jobs at a local housing development while two others are about to start apprenticeships.

Partnership homes developer Lovell and Hafod organised the Prepare to Construct course, run in conjunction with Bridgend College, the local Job Centre, apprentice training company Y Prentis and Involve Recruitment.

Eleven trainees took part in the two-week course which included an introduction to different construction trades and health and safety training. Nine gained their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, an essential requirement for anyone working on a construction site. The candidates were also offered a week’s work experience on a major new homes development at Coychurch Road, Bridgend, where Lovell is building 48 affordable homes for Hafod.

The training programme was so successful that two of the trainees have now got jobs as labourerers on the Coychurch Road development, while two others are about to begin apprenticeships with Lovell at the development through the Y Prentis scheme. Lovell is also looking to arrange six-month training positions for two of the other candidates with some of its subcontractor partners. Another trainee is set to go to college and plans to return for further work experience with Lovell.

Neil Doughty, from Pencoed, took part in the Prepare to Construct course after being made redundant from his job as a porter at Asda. “I’ve worked in construction before and the course has helped me get back into the industry,” says Neil, 44, who has been taken on as a labourer by Involve Recruitment at the Coychurch Road scheme. “The course was well-run and has enabled me to update my training and obtain my CSCS card. After completing it, I did work experience at the Coychurch Road development and during that time, a vacancy came up which I was offered – it’s worked out really well and I’m very grateful for the help it’s given me to get back into the building business.”

Head of Development at Hafod, Cadwgan Thomas, said: “The construction industry is currently facing a huge skills shortage making it increasingly hard to find the necessary resources to build the homes of the future. It is the therefore crucial that organisations like Hafod continue to support programmes such as Prepare to Construct to ensure that people are provided with an opportunity to develop and maintain a career in construction.”

Lovell regional training advisor Darryl Williams says: “It’s great that so many of the people who completed the course are now either working in the industry or doing additional training to keep developing their skills. Providing training opportunities is a vital element of our contribution to the prosperity of local communities. We’re very pleased that the Prepare to Construct course has set so many people on the path to a construction career.”