Hats off as trainees take big step towards new career
Eight candidates from Dundee have successfully completed an intensive three week programme designed to improve their chances of employment within the Scottish housing sector.
The Insulation Installer Employability Programme initiative, devised and delivered by Hart Builders in partnership with Dundee City Council’s Community Benefit Programme, was developed to give participants a range of specific skills required to become specialised insulation installers.
Building regulations introduced in 2015 dictate much higher levels of insulation and air tightness in new homes to secure habitation certificates. As a result, highly trained insulation installers have been identified by Hart Builders as a valuable semi-skilled workforce.
The Employability Programme was initiated by Hart Builders’ construction director, Colin Jack who recognised the need for a new semi-skilled trade to assist joiners and free up their time to concentrate on joinery works.
With training, the candidates have very quickly been able to learn to complete an essential part of the building process and contribute to ensuring all new homes built by Hart are as energy efficient and airtight as possible.
The initiative was advertised through Job Centre Plus and interested candidates were invited to attend a pre-recruitment information day held at the Wellgate Job Centre which was hosted by representatives from Hart Builders, Dundee City Council, The Wise Group and Job Centre Plus.
Twenty-five candidates attended the information day and from those, eight were selected for the three-week course.
All eight have now successfully completed the course and move on to formal interviews to be held in the next few weeks.
Four candidates will then be offered permanent employment as insulation installers at the new Alexander Street development currently under construction by Hart Builders in Dundee’s Hilltown on behalf of a partnership between Dundee City Council, Hillcrest Housing Association and the Scottish Government.
The new development will include eighty-one homes for social and mid-market rent, all featuring enhanced levels of insulation and other innovative technologies such as photovoltaic panels. When completed, properties will be let through the council and Hillcrest Housing Association and provide high quality new homes for families and households with specific needs.
Gill Henry, Hart Builders’ head of business development, said: “We’re so thrilled with the success of the Employability Programme. The eight candidates have proved to be a great group of guys, all of whom offer real potential. It’s going to be really difficult to select the final four who will be offered full time employment.”
David Zwirlein, Hillcrest Housing Association director of development and new business, said: “We are delighted that one of our sites is not only providing good quality, affordable homes, but is also offering people an employment opportunity. A number of projects within the Hillcrest Group are aimed at helping people into work so we are very supportive of the work that Hart Builders and Dundee City Council have undertaken. I’m pleased to hear that all eight candidates have completed the course and would like to wish them well in securing permanent jobs.”
Dundee City Council depute neighbourhood services convener, Councillor Vari McDonald, added: “I am pleased to see that the insulation installer construction employability programme has resulted in the training for the candidates involved.
“Our partnership with Hart Builders has shown how the council is committed to providing chances for people to learn new skills and go on to new opportunities.
“This has been an excellent programme and I would like to thank everyone involved for their input.”