New initiative helps young people ‘Get into Home Building’

Get into Home Building students celebrate their success at a special graduation event at Edinburgh College
Get into Home Building students celebrate their success at a special graduation event at Edinburgh College

Twenty-five young people have successfully completed a six week Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Home Building’ programme, which helps unemployed young people gain practical skills and experience in the home building industry.

Eighteen of the twenty-five young people have gone on to secure a job or an apprenticeship with a number of Scotland’s leading home building and construction companies. Launched last year, the programme was developed by youth charity Prince’s Trust Scotland and trade body Homes for Scotland in response to the growing skills shortage in the home building industry.

Supported by Edinburgh College and City of Glasgow College and funded by CITB, the course is a six-week pre-apprenticeship programme that helps unemployed young people 16-25 years old gain experience in a variety of trade disciplines. These include carpentry, plastering, brickwork and painting and decorating as well as “hands on” practice with some of Scotland’s leading home builders and construction companies.

Daniel Kay, 24, from Edinburgh who has begun employment as a bricklaying apprentice with Miller Homes said: “I’m more confident after doing Get into Home Building. I worked on a building site for the first time, I got an insight into joinery and bricklaying as I have never done before. It’s given me the opportunity to get into construction after trying for eight years.”

In addition to gaining valuable site knowledge and a CSCS site safety card, students also receive wider training to help improve communication, reliability, teamwork and CV/interview skills.

The home building industry is a major employer in Scotland with every new home built estimated to directly support two jobs and every nine homes built one apprenticeship. However, skill shortages have been identified as a major barrier to its ability to increase production as the economy and housing market recovers.

Young people who complete the programme and who are interested in pursuing a full apprenticeship are then guaranteed an interview with participating companies. Programme partners and The Trust work with every young person who completes the programme to help them move into further training or employment.

The programme gives the companies an opportunity to pre-assess potential candidates and confidence in progressing the recruitment of apprentices. It tackles skill shortages, expands the industry’s recruitment pool and benefits local communities affected by high levels of youth unemployment.

Philip Hogg, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: “Attracting new entrants into home building is crucial to the future success of our industry. Having witnessed the progress made by those who took part last year, we are delighted at the programme’s ongoing success and the way in which it has been embraced by our home builder members.”

John Keenan, skills strategy manager for CITB, said: “The Get into Home Building programme is an excellent model. It allows talented young people to have a go at various trades and decide if a career in the construction industry is right for them, whilst providing a direct pathway to a career in an industry that is both challenging and rewarding.

“The Scottish construction industry needs 4430 new recruits each year for the next five years to meet demand. Initiatives such as this go a long way in inspiring young people to think of construction as a successful career option and help to meet this target.”

Allan Watt, director of The Prince’s Trust Scotland, added: “The Prince’s Trust is delighted to help young people ‘Get into Home Building’ with a fantastic package of training and hands-on experience. Thanks to our work with Edinburgh College, City of Glasgow College and Homes for Scotland and its member companies, we are able to positively transform the futures of many more young people in Glasgow and Edinburgh.”

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