Enhancing skills & employment
As part of the North Wales Construction Framework, we are committed in developing our workforce and supply chain, enabling local labour opportunities and offering positive engagement with our stakeholders. We have undertaken a multitude of activities to meet and exceed these targets. Below is an example of a recent successful employment activity:
On 2nd October 2018, Department for Working Pensions (DWP) and ADTRAC held an open day for a number of individuals who were then unemployed and seeking work in the construction industry.
Kier, together with our local supply chain partner, Jennings BCE, opened the offices and welcomed around a dozen people, offering insight into the industry and the roles available.
Local resident Nathan Shipley (27) attended the open day and learnt about the school project and the works being undertaken by Jennings’ on site. He was interested in taking up the offer of a work placement in order to gain some experience and get a feel for what it is really like working on a live site. After two weeks of undergoing work experience, Jennings were pleased with Nathan, proving himself to be a hard worker, able to follow instruction, punctual and pleasant to work with. He worked really well with the rest of the team and earned the respect of his foreman. Jennings were able to offer Nathan permanent employment, which he gladly accepted, and he was swiftly enrolled to undertake NVQ Level 2 Construction, which he is due to complete in June 2020.
We spoke to Nathan about his experience, here’s what he had to say, “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work, on a local project that’s going to enhance the education for so many local children. It’s been great learning new skills and especially gaining formal qualifications. I was a bit hesitant for the Open Day, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m glad I took the chance to go, and be able to secure employment and a means of supporting myself again. Thank you to Kier and Jennings for giving me and other local people this opportunity.”
Rhys Rowlands, Site Manager for Jennings BCE said “We enjoy organising the Open Days as it gives people a proper insight into the industry and what we do. We tend to find them quite productive and it’s always good if we’re able to offer someone some real hands on experience. Nathan’s commitment was clear from day one, it’s something we admire in our teams so of course we were happy to offer him a place with us. He’s a hard worker and he gets the job done. We’re supporting him in gaining his NVQ 2 with Llandrillo College and look forward to his career progressing with us.”
Martin Walsh, Project Manager for Kier said “It’s great when we are able to bring local people into the workforce, it’s something Kier always try to do and encourage with all of our sub-contractors. Nathan has proven to be a key part of the Jennings team on site and Kier are pleased to have been able to support this. It’s difficult sometimes going from being unemployed to getting back into work, the Open Days can make this an easier transition. They take away the apprehension some may feel about going into a new environment, Nathan had already been to site and met the team he would end up working with so it becomes a bit less daunting.”
Having worked closely alongside Careers Wales, DWP and Prince’s Trust we have been able to offer work experience to pupils from Prestatyn High School and Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School, work placements to NEETs (Not in Education, Employment of Training), with several leading to offers of employment, like Nathan and a boost to the local employment market with over 40% of our workforce travelling less than 10 miles at our busiest times. We have been issued with a Certificate of Thanks from Careers Wales for supporting work placements, and have also been nominated for a Careers Wales Valued Partner Award.
• In addition to Nathan, through the project and our supply chain we have created eight new apprentices-
• The project has supported 13 sustained apprenticeships including surveying, joinery, civil engineering and electrical disciplines
• We have created two new graduate employment opportunities
• 20 new jobs have been created either directly at Kier or through our supply chain
• 3 Work placements for under sixteen
• 12 Work placements for over sixteen including NEETS and unemployed.
COMMUNITY/CHARITY ENGAGEMENT EVENTS
We are committed in leaving a lasting legacy and throughout the project we organised and took part in a number of charitable fundraisers. Heather Shafer, Project Administrator, introduced collection boxes onsite for the RNLI, Prostate Cancer and St Kentigern’s Hospice and was the driving force on many of these fundraising events. Heather stated “I live just 4 miles from site and see many opportunities on how we can help those less fortunate”
We have donated directly and through the local supply chain:
• £1,540 for RNLI completing the 3 peaks challenge
• £16,173 for the British Heart Foundation and Homeless charities taking part in Boots on for Building
• £100 for the Red Box Project Rhyl
• £1,000 for Kicks Count taking part in Rainbow Baby Day
• £700 to buy football kits for 2 local youth football clubs
• Donations of monies and materials to Hedgehog Help Prestatyn
• Donations to Keep Wales Tidy
• Community Bench to the DVSC to create a safe space in Denbigh
• Wood and recycled material to the Veteran’s Shed and the Men’s Shed
• Donated of High Visibility clothing to the pupil’s during Road Safety Week.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT WITH THE LOCAL SUPPLY CHAIN
The project has enabled Kier to share its skills and resources with the local supply chain, sharing best practice and providing training and support on many issues with the supplier.
At Coleg Cambria we held a training awareness event with local construction contractors where we shared our knowledge of local training providers, CITB grants & training support and apprentice information. The event enabled attendees to gain further information on training and development for new and existing staff and signposted where to get further information.
This support has resulted in:
• The project achieving 213 Apprentice weeks on site and 28 weeks of training.
• 8 NVQ Starts including civil engineering. Welding and general construction and 3 NVQ Completions
• 5 Training plans shared from subcontractors
• 4 Supervisor Training for subcontractors
• 3 Leadership and Managing Training for subcontractors
• 10 Advanced Health and Safety Training for subcontractors
On the 4th June 2019 we attended the Meet the Buyer event in Flintshire held at Theatre Clwyd meeting many existing and new suppliers. The project has achieved 83% spend within 30 mile radius of the site.
During the project the team have delivered 15 different construction curriculum support activities.
These have covered a range of topics to a number of schools, from awareness of the 2000 different construction careers at Denbigh Leisure Centre to over five different schools, to health and safety talks at Ysgol Mair with our company health and safety mascot Kieran.
Through the duration of the project we have managed to speak to over 1771 children donating 150 hours.