Helping the unemployed find a way back to work

Louise Seddon  GRAHAM Construction, Spencer Belson  Calderdale College, Nicola Webb  Halifax JCP  SUIC Delegates : William Digney, Shazad Ahmed & Michael Watson
Louise Seddon  GRAHAM Construction, Spencer Belson  Calderdale College, Nicola Webb  Halifax JCP  SUIC Delegates : William Digney, Shazad Ahmed & Michael Watson

A group of Halifax unemployed people are finding their way back into work after completing a six-week construction industry programme with Graham Construction.

Graham, Calderdale College and Jobcentre Plus joined forces to provide industry training and placement opportunities at Calderdale Council’s £28m Piece Hall and Central Library and Archives development.

Run as part of the Step Up Into Construction (SUIC) programme, the group spent two weeks studying at Calderdale College, gaining Construction Skills Certification Scheme certificates.

They were then able to take on a four-week on-site placement at the Piece Hall project, learning about various skilled trades including joinery, blacksmithing and glazing.

With support from Graham and Jobcentre Plus Halifax, more than half of the candidates completed the programme and gained valuable skills and insights, working with suppliers such as AG Glass and Glazing Ltd, Forrest Joinery and sole trader blacksmith Ian Baxter.

Shazad Ahmed, one of the candidates on the programme, said: “I have never had this type of help before and am really pleased to have been given the opportunity to prove myself in the workplace.

“I am also very happy to have passed my CSCS card with a 100 per cent mark and believe this has been achieved due to the support from everyone involved. The mentoring throughout was brilliant and we were also given free travel passes to help us get to and from the site. I would strongly recommend the Step Up Into Construction programme to anybody who needs extra help to get into work.”

Graham has a strong relationship with Jobcentre Plus and is continuing to support those who didn’t complete the four week on-site places.

Louise Seddon, community engagement advisor at Graham Construction, said: “We loved having the candidates on-site. The perfect goal is always to find each individual at the end of the programme, but our relationship with Jobcentre Plus means we can continue to support candidates even when there are no vacancies available within Graham or our supply chain.”