CALA Homes and The Prince’s Trust are working together across the housebuilder’s sites in the South East to give young people in a valuable insight into a career in construction.
At its Sheldons Reach development in Hook, Hampshire, a group of 16- to 25-year-olds were taking part in the ‘World of Work’ initiative and the charity’s TEAM programme. which helps young people become ‘work ready’ through develop skills and building confidence.
CALA’s construction and site teams spent time with their young guests to give them background on the housebuilding industry and details of the wide range of career opportunities that the sector offers. They also gave them the opportunity to see first-hand some of those skills in action, from construction to sales and marketing.
Chris Traill, construction director for CALA Homes South Home Counties, says: “CALA Homes is a Gold Patron of The Prince’s Trust and this is just one of the ways in which the business is supporting the fantastic work the charity does. As an industry facing a skills shortage, it is important that we actively encourage more young people into the industry through partnerships such as this. The whole team at CALA found it a really enjoyable and rewarding day, with a group of bright and inquisitive young people.”
Richard Lovell, The Prince’s Trust Weybridge TEAM programme leader, says of the scheme: “I spend a significant amount of time looking at employability skills and motivation and the CALA team delivered the same message, reinforcing the aims of The Prince’s Trust. It is incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to take the young people out of the classroom and see what they can achieve if they apply themselves to reach their potential. The students found the show home an inspiration and something to aspire to.”
Another example of the award-winning housebuilder working with The Prince’s Trust is the Get Into Construction scheme, which has secured apprenticeships in the industry for more than 30 young people.
It’s a four-week course in partnership with local colleges which aims to give disadvantaged, unemployed young people an opportunity to develop new skills and get hands-on experience. Two weeks are spent at a college where they complete basic training on construction skills, and health and safety, when they can gain a CSCS card which enables them to work on construction sites. It’s then that they work on site at a CALA Homes development for hands-on experience across a diverse range of trade skills.
CALA and its subcontractor partners have offered apprenticeships in joinery, bricklaying, carpentry and plumbing, with each trainee supported by a mentor from The Prince’s Trust.
“We are delighted to work with The Prince’s Trust to offer young people the opportunity to learn about the construction industry and the variety of careers that are available,” says Stephen Bennett, construction director for CALA Homes (Thames). “The industry needs new talent if we are to address the national shortage in skilled trades and to have had such a positive response to the scheme from the trainees, CALA employees and our sub-contractors is fantastic.
“Unemployed young people often just need the chance to prove they have the motivation and talent required to get onto the career ladder. It’s clear from the feedback we’ve had from the teams on site that these young people have jumped at the chance to make the most of this opportunity. Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to get this programme up and running and their enthusiasm and dedication has been key to making it such a success.”
Among the recent Get Into Construction trainees is Tom Mansfield, who secured an apprenticeship in bricklaying. He says: “I really can’t thank CALA and The Prince’s Trust enough. The Get Into programme has given me a fresh new start and the opportunity to pursue a career in construction which I never thought would be possible. I feel like I’ve already learnt so much working with the CALA team and to be given an apprenticeship at the end of it is like a dream come true. I’m feeling extremely positive about the future.”
Hannah Matthews, head of corporate partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, says the charity’s partnership with CALA Homes is an essential element in tackling the industry skills shortage: “There are thousands of young people who would strive for a career in the sector, if they had the support. The Prince’s Trust is committed to supporting young people right across the UK, from every background, to live, learn, and earn.
“Our work with CALA is enabling young people to be given a real chance to turn their circumstances around and significantly improve their lives. Together we can and will change young lives for the better and forever.”