Leading construction firm The Anwyl Group are teaming up with The Prince’s Trust to help get more young people into construction.
The Flintshire-based construction company will this month run a three-week course to give 11 unemployed young people from North East Wales a taste of working life on a construction site.
They are working with Prince’s Trust whose Patron is HRH The Price of Wales, to run the scheme which will start with a selection process to find those with the aptitude and drive to make a career in bricks and mortar.
Those chosen, aged between 18 and 30, will start with a week-long education programme at Anwyl head office in Ewloe, before going out onto one of five sites in North East Wales to spend two weeks as part of the construction teams there.
The Anwyl Group will provide the facilities for week one of the course, which includes skills and health & safety training delivered by staff from Coleg Menai and will result in each trainee obtaining a Level One Health and Safety Certificate and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card which allows them to work on construction sites, all funded by The Anwyl Group.
The five sites chosen will include; the Croes Atti site at Oakenholt where Anwyl Homes are building over 600 private houses and Llys Raddington in Flint where the company’s Construction Division, are engaged in a £8.5 million contract to build a 73 apartment extra-care development for leading social housing provider the Pennaf Housing Group.
The scheme is open to all – Anwyl recently saw 24-year-old single mum Alleisha Carey, from Connah’s Quay, spend time on one of their sites with the joinery team and she is now hoping to continue her training at Coleg Cambria.
Anwyl Construction Director Tom Anwyl said: “We have worked with The Prince’s Trust in the past and we share their commitment to encouraging young people into employment.
“We are facing a real skills shortage in the construction industry, facing the issues of availability of bricklayers, joiners and other tradespeople being ready to replace those now reaching retirement and that’s a dangerous prospect, as the UK needs a vibrant construction industry to prosper.
“It also means that there are real career prospects in the industry and we have a long-standing commitment to encouraging and developing a skilled workforce and one of the ways we can do this is through The Prince’s Trust.
“We have previously worked with them in Rhyl and recently we were among a consortium of builders providing opportunities in Flintshire and this month we are running our own scheme with The Trust.
“We are very proud of the fact that 20 per cent of our current workforce of 170 began their careers with us as apprentices and many more now run their own companies and sub-contract to us.
“It is very important that we encourage young people to take up careers in our industry and that we equip them with the right skills from the outset and when we identify sub-contractors in the areas in which we operate we look for a similar commitment from them.
“It is important to have a skilled workforce available and that is what has helped us secure important contracts which will in turn bring employment and economic benefit to the areas in which we operate.
“That geographical spread is from all across North, Mid Wales and North West and at any time we can have up to 350 sub-contractors working for us as well as our own 170 staff.”
Philip Jones, Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru, added: “We are very excited to collaborate once again with The Anwyl Group, following the success of our Get into Construction programmes in Rhyl.
“I am thrilled that together we have been able to expand and offer our support across the North East of Wales, giving young people in the local area the platform to start a career in construction.”
Anwyl are also proud to have four Construction Ambassadors as part of the CITB programme and visit schools and colleges regularly, engaging the pupils with the opportunities the industry holds, and inviting both school pupils and construction skills students to visit their sites.
They have recently involved schools in Flint, Holywell, Porthmadog, Newtown and Rhyl in projects where they are building nearby and have formed relationships with the nearest schools to their head office, Ewloe Green Primary School and Hawarden High School.