Story Scotland shows commitment to employability in Glasgow
As part of its commitment to help with employability in Scotland, Uddingston-based civil engineering firm Story Scotland is up-skilling local residents in a bid to help them to re-enter the world of employment.
Story Scotland, which is a business division of infrastructure company Story Contracting, has invested time and funds to offer local workers the opportunity to gain first-hand rail and civil engineering experience at its SPT Depot in Govan.
Working alongside Apex Scotland – a service that assists those who have multiple barriers to employment or who are long term unemployed – Story Scotland has recently offered a permanent contract as a general operative to Eddie Kimmins.
After spending two weeks working on the Kilmarnock AFA scheme for Network Rail, Eddie was offered an initial three month trial with the business. After impressing his colleagues and mentors, Eddie has now been given a permanent position as a general operative and is currently working full time at the SPT Depot.
Eddie said: “This has been a real boost, a fresh start for me. I’m determined to turn my life around after being out of work for so long. There’s been so little opportunity for me so when this came along I jumped at it. I wanted to do a good job for the business and to prove to that I could work hard and that’s exactly what I did – and now I couldn’t be happier to have secured a permanent position.
“Story is a great place to work and the people have been so welcoming to me, taking me under their wing and showing me the ropes. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of colleagues and they’ve really helped boost my confidence.
“My advice to anyone who has been out of work for a while would be to take any opportunity that is given to you, as you never know where it will lead. Apex was a great stepping stone for me and gave me a shot to prove what I could really do – without this I might not be where I am today.”
Apex Scotland’s work is about reducing re-offending, promoting desistance, tackling deprivation and making communities safer. It aims to bring lasting value to individuals and society and Story Scotland is delighted to be working with this specialist organisation to help individuals to get their lives back on track.
Hoping to follow in Eddie’s footsteps is Graham Moore, who recently joined the business on a two week placement through Apex. Graham commutes from Alloa to Glasgow every day as he feels this opportunity is crucial to his career development.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the work that I have been doing out on site so far and I’m learning new things every day. I’m observing the day-to-day site activity and the hands-on experience that I am gaining from this placement with Story Scotland will certainly boost my CV. Getting back into a working routine has been fantastic and my main goal is to secure a permanent position so that I have a steady wage and some stability.”
As part of the work experience scheme, all new Story recruits are assigned a mentor or ‘buddy’ to help guide them throughout their time with the business and to ensure that they have the correct network in place should they need support or advice.
As well as the partnership with Apex, Story Scotland has also engaged with All Cleaned Up (ACU) and will provide work opportunities for five people at Waverley Station over the next few months. ACU is a social enterprise that creates jobs for people with long-term unemployment, mental health problems and ex-offenders.
Robert Craig, construction manager for Story Scotland, said: “Our business promotes diversity and flexibility within our workforce and we are proud to have built a team of people who come from a many different backgrounds. We are committed to employability in Scotland and helping those who have gone through a difficult patch to get back into work – this process takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it is certainly worth the investment. We believe that everybody deserves a second chance and it is very satisfying to be able to give someone the opportunity to change their life for the better.”
Gerard McEneany, director of operations for Apex Scotland, said: “Apex Scotland is delighted to work in partnership with Story Scotland, providing real opportunities for those that are long-term unemployed and have additional barriers to employment. Story Scotland has shown a real commitment to supporting our clients, such as Eddie and Graham, who now have a positive future ahead of them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Story Scotland staff who have been involved in this initiative and we look forward to continue to work with them in the future.”