01.09.2016

The NWCH Supporting The Local Community

Community Investment at Eden

The Eden School project was recently completed in Blackburn; on time, with zero defects, and within budget to a very happy client, Education Partnership Trust. The £3.1m scheme involved construction of a new two-storey school to support young people with special educational needs relating to social, emotional and mental health. Alongside construction, there were also a number of successes achieved in the delivery of the project Employment & Skills Plan (ESP). During the pre-construction stage the contractor developed the bespoke ESP with the aim of supporting work experience opportunities, community activities and employment opportunities.

An innovative Sector Based Work Academy (SBWA) was implemented which was delivered in collaboration with Blackburn Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and local training provider Vocational Solutions. The programme supported twelve unemployed individuals on a four-week work experience journey and training programme.

The SBWA involved presenting at the local JCP open day to recruit clients, site visits, mock interviews, employment support and one-to-one mentoring and work experience on site. The work experience journey also allowed the individuals to gain their CSCS cards and Level 1 Construction certification. At the end of the course, individuals were given mock interviews with ISG to enhance their employability skills, followed by an interview with a partnered recruitment agency, Spectrum, where successful candidates were provided with further construction related training, such as Manual Handling and Vehicle Banksman.

Drew Mizon, who undertook the SBWA, subsequently went on to complete a further two-week work placement on site with ISG. Drew said “The sector based work academy was brilliant. I gained my CSCS card, and completed an additional two-week work placement with ISG. I would highly recommend this programme to others!”

The site team also engaged with local specialist school the Heights, delivering weekly site tours to the pupils and a presentation to the school to promote apprenticeships and opportunities for women in construction.

The project engaged heavily with various local colleges, including Blackburn, Accrington & Rossendale and Wigan & Leigh colleges. A number of site tours were delivered for Brickwork students from Blackburn College and Interior Design students from Accrington & Rossendale college – who were provided access to the programme and drawings, and used this as part of a college project. The team also extended its support to Wigan & Leigh College, in order to promote the apprenticeship and work placement opportunities at their careers fair.

Drew Mizon, who undertook the SBWA, subsequently went on to complete a further two-week work placement on site with ISG. Drew said “The sector based work academy was brilliant. I gained my CSCS card, and completed an additional two-week work placement with ISG. I would highly recommend this programme to others!”

The site team also engaged with local specialist school the Heights, delivering weekly site tours to the pupils and a presentation to the school to promote apprenticeships and opportunities for women in construction.

The project engaged heavily with various local colleges, including Blackburn, Accrington & Rossendale and Wigan & Leigh colleges. A number of site tours were delivered for Brickwork students from Blackburn College and Interior Design students from Accrington & Rossendale college – who were provided access to the programme and drawings, and used this as part of a college project. The team also extended its support to Wigan & Leigh College, in order to promote the apprenticeship and work placement opportunities at their careers fair.

Engagement with the colleges went further, as various students were provided with work experience. James Bedward undertook a one week work placement, and was studying a HNC in Construction at Accrington & Rossendale College. He wanted on-site experience to further his ambitions of eventually moving into Site Management.
Naeem Hussein also undertook a one week work placement, and had recently graduated from Bolton University in Construction Management. Naeem also had aspirations to move into Site Management.

“My favourite part of the placement was being made to feel part of the ISG family. I also gained a stronger understanding of the NWCH framework, and the sustainability elements involved within construction”

To further, £600 was raised for local charity The Oliver King Foundation, who are campaigning for legislation to make defibrillators compulsory in all public buildings to help prevent deaths from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. As a result, local specialist school the Heights were presented with a new defibrillator.

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