Pupils get introduction to construction with Simpson Builders and Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland

DYWICH operations manager Gregor Campbell says pupils at Dingwall and Charleston Academies will gain a fantastic insight into the construction industry

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PUPILS from two Highland academies will soon have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the construction industry thanks to a new business-education partnership.

Simpson Builders in Beauly has teamed up with Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland (DYWICH) to sign the Young Person’s Guarantee – and offer six pupils from Dingwall and Charleston Academies a three-week work placement in the new year.

The well-known building firm will visit pupils at Dingwall Academy this week, ahead of the ‘Journey into Construction’ programme, to provide more information about the industry and give details of the experience on offer.

DYWICH operations manager Gregor Campbell said: “We’re delighted that Simpson Builders has signed the Young Person’s Guarantee, and pledged to provide new routes for young people into the construction industry.

“The latest statistics from the ONS show that while construction new orders have grown by 2.5% across the UK – and the value of work continues to rise – employment in the industry has fallen by 6%.

“There is clearly huge opportunity for job creation in construction, and in many other sectors. By signing up to the Young Person’s Guarantee, businesses can help upskill the next generation of workers and safeguard their industries for years to come.”

The three-week course will begin with an introduction to the skills required to work on a construction site – from first aid and manual handling to office work and interview practice – to gain a CSCS Labourer card. From there, the pupils will gain experience in a range of trades, including working with builders, tilers, joiners and concrete workers.

The placement stems from the Young Person’s Guarantee – a government programme which encourages businesses in the Highlands to support young people into the world of work. Businesses can pledge to support young people however they can – from attending school events to providing work placements and career advice.

Simpson Builders is the latest business in the region to sign up to the scheme. Managing director Gordon Simpson added: “Not only will the youngsters come away from the course with us site ready, but I am hopeful we can offer an apprenticeship and employment to at least one candidate.”

Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highland is part of a national framework of regional employer-led boards across Scotland. Formed as part of the Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy, and hosted by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the group’s aim is to develop sustainable links between schools, colleges and employers. Working in partnership with employers, DYW Inverness & Central Highland is shaping the workforce of the future and helping to better prepare young people for the world of work.

For more information about DYWICH, school engagement and the Young Person’s Guarantee, visit www.dywich.co.uk or follow DYWICH on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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