Irvine Harbourside project helping to change lives and create jobs
Construction group McTaggart has been praised for creating life-changing job opportunities as part of its Irvine Harbourside development.
The project, in partnership with North Ayrshire Council, has provided 27 new employment roles, smashing the community benefit target of six new entrant jobs and apprenticeships.
McTaggart, which was recently named Scotland’s large apprentice employer of the year in the Skills Development Scotland awards, also helped 29 site operatives gain industry-standard qualifications.
Managing director Janice Russell said: “By working together with our partners, like North Ayrshire Council, we can not only build better homes but create life-changing opportunities for young people. I’m delighted that we were able to exceed expectations and impact positively on so many individuals and the community.”
Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for Economy and Climate Change at North Ayrshire Council, said: “It is great to see community benefits in contracts being used in this way to create employment and work-based training opportunities in North Ayrshire, especially for young people starting out on their future careers.
“Apprenticeships are a really important way to offer people a route into a trade and earn a wage whilst they learn. It’s fantastic to see McTaggart’s, a local employer, embrace this and create so many opportunities for our young people in North Ayrshire and setting them off on their future careers.
“As a Community Wealth Building Council, we look forward to continue working with businesses who have contracts with North Ayrshire Council to deliver community benefits for a wide range of initiatives including employment and training opportunities.”
Elaine Ellis, skills sector manager for construction at Skills Development Scotland, said: “It’s vital young people are aware of careers in the construction industry, which is an important contributor to Scotland’s economy. The sector is at the forefront of helping the country meet the net zero target, so the workforce will be developing the skills they need now and for the future.
“McTaggart is a great example of a business that has diversity and inclusion at the heart of its approach to developing a sustainable pipeline of talent, widening access to opportunities for young people in deprived communities to gain valuable skills for life and work, particularly through apprenticeships.”
In addition to the new sustainable jobs and apprenticeships, McTaggart Construction supported more than 60 hours of career development initiatives to North Ayrshire Schools, reaching out to 140 primary and early years pupils, 600 secondary pupils and 200 college students and leavers.
Employability partnerships to promote the construction industry were established with all local providers: Irvine and Saltcoats DWP job centres, Impact Arts, Street League, Lowland training, Galloway training, the Princes Trust and Tigers. It included career talks, free industry training and both work placements and work based learning programmes.
McTaggart contracts manager Chris Irving said: “We are really proud of the project and the benefits we were able to bring. Exciting young people about a career in the construction industry and giving them an opportunity to develop their skills on site is not only helping us create a future workforce but it is giving them the chance to build a better life.
“We are a family business with our HQ in North Ayrshire and it is important to us to give something back to the area. Our Community Benefit Team viewed the Harbourside project as a fantastic opportunity to make a difference and at its peak more than a fifth of our site based workforce were apprentices and registered trainees. In addition, we supported 908 weeks of work based learning.”