Building a new career
The Council has helped a group of young and unemployed people from the region gain their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, providing work placements through ongoing Council contracts.
Earlier this year, Job Centre Plus, Skills Development Scotland and Borders College hosted a construction sector-based Work Academy aimed at people who were looking to gain their CSCS card which would allow them to access employment opportunities in the construction industry.
Eight students successfully completed the course and gained an industry recognised safety certificate.
Community Benefit clauses attached to a number of SBC construction contracts provided the successful students the opportunity of a two-week work placement giving them valuable experience of working on a live construction project.
Following the work experience, four of the students were able to secure full time employment with the employers who provided the work placements. A further two students relocated to the north of England and were able to secure employment in the construction industry as a direct result of successfully completing the course.
On the back of this success, contractors working on various Council contracts provided a further 12 work placements to young people entering into a similar course during the summer. In this instance the training was provided via Life Skills in Galashiels.
Councillor John Mitchell, Depute Leader of SBC (with responsibility for Finance) said: “This is an excellent example of how Community Benefit clauses can provide employment opportunities for young and unemployed people and how partnership working is essential to maximise opportunities provided through the Council’s third party contracts.
“The Community Benefit clauses written into public contracts are aimed at supporting economic growth through employment creation, the development of local businesses and support for school and community groups.”
One of those who undertook the course earlier this year was Iain Jenkins, 34, of Galashiels.
After gaining his CSCS card and a work placement with Esh Border Construction, he was offered a full-time position, and has worked on the Wilton Lodge Park site in Hawick, where Esh Border Construction is working for SBC on the new café and footbridge.
Esh Border Construction Director for Scotland, John Moore, said: “Our staff were very impressed with Iain’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn during his placement and we were only too pleased to have been able to offer him employment with Esh Border Construction.
“We are sure he will go on to have a successful career and be a great asset for the company.”