A housing company has helped the world-famous Cutler’s Company launch a project to help Sheffield youngsters build careers in the construction industry.
With the support of Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – and particularly its construction partner, Keepmoat Homes – the Better Learners, Better Workers (BLBW) initiative is designed to show students approaching their GCSEs, the career options available in the building industry.
It will also help address the growing skills shortage in the sector in a city with plans to develop 10,000 new homes by 2024.
“We are committed to helping young people in Sheffield to get the best possible opportunities for progressing into our industry,” said John Claphan, project director with SHC. “We could see that this was an ideal way of doing that, helping to build young people’s confidence and skills but also giving them real experiences of the workplace. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the young people who were at the launch.”
Haydn Tomlinson, land and partnerships coordinator at Keepmoat Homes in Yorkshire, added: “There is a huge demand for young talent in the construction industry with thousands of new jobs expected to be created in Yorkshire alone over the next few years. That’s why this scheme is so important and why we’re proud to be involved. Through it we hope to engage young people, show them the opportunities available in the modern construction industry and inspire them to consider it a career for them.”
Launched by Master Cutler Nicholas Cragg at the prestigious Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield, BLBW is providing Year 10 students from Chaucer School and Sheffield Park Academy with a year-long programme of visits to real construction sites to learn about the latest working methods, the type of jobs available and the built environment.
The project also features workshops, focusing on the job application process, team building and other workplace skills such as communication, resilience and critical thinking.
Designed by employers and with support from the Cutlers’ Company, which was incorporated in 1624, and Sheffield City Council, BLBW operates across South Yorkshire, focusing on specific industry sectors, so young people can follow their interests.
SHC is the city council’s joint venture development company, established with private sector construction partner Keepmoat Homes and Great Places Housing Group. Its goal is to improve the quality and choice of housing across the city, while creating jobs, encouraging investment and supporting the communities in which it works.
Supporting educational and training projects, such as BLBW, is a key element of SHC’s programme to help create apprenticeship and job opportunities.
It is currently working on the second phase of a 25-year plan to build 2,300 new affordable homes for sale, shared ownership and rent, across the city. To date 600 homes have been completed, 60 apprentices employed, over 500 jobs created and more than £80 million spent with local suppliers.
Main Image: Youngsters from Chaucer School and Sheffield Park Academy at the launch with Master Cutler, Nicholas Cragg (front) John Clephan (rear left) and Haydn Tomlinson (rear centre)