A Dundee firm has won funding for a new scheme to get city youngsters into the construction industry.
Alexander Community Developments intends to provide 24 places for high school pupils on its Transition to Trade – TtT – programme.
The funding is coming from contractor McLaughin & Harvey and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU).
A spokeswoman for Alexander Community Developments said the two pots of funding would significantly reduce the cost of the programme for schools in the city, helping to ensure young people who deserve a place, get every chance possible.
She said Transition to Trade was created to provide a positive pathway for pupils in S3 – S5 into the construction industry.
“One of the aims is to remove some of the barriers that young people frequently face, such as not having the required qualifications, or experiencing challenging home circumstances,” she added.
“Throughout the six-week programme candidates build their knowledge in general workplace, health and safety as well as developing their practical skills in painting and decorating.
“This will lead to the candidates gaining qualifications, which will allow them to go directly into employment, but most importantly gaining a sense of achievement.”
She said the project was benefiting from McLaughlin & Harvey’s social obligation clause, which is in line with the work they are carrying out for the Broughty Ferry Flood Protection Scheme.
McLaughlin and Harvey, Civil Engineering Director, Seamus Devlin said the business was delighted to be the first main contractor currently working in Dundee to support the scheme.
“This project offers young people a unique insight into a career in the trades while helping them develop a range of transferrable skills and positive work ethic which future employers will value,” he added.
The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU) is part of Police Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government. It uses a public health approach to reducing violence.
Inspector Catherine Lannen who heads up the unit’s work in Tayside said: “Transition to Trade is a great project which gives young people in Dundee the chance to gain practical skills, work experience and crucially, confidence in their own abilities.
“We are delighted to support Alexander Community Development on this exciting initiative which offers young people a sense of hope for their future opportunities.”
Following training pupils will participate in a large scale design and build project. Working as a part of a team, they will have the opportunity to use their newly developed skills to revamp a building in their local community.
They will also get help with CVs and a chance to take part in mock interviews.
Kenny Clarkson , deputy head teacher at Braeview Academy said: “‘We are delighted to be partnering with Alexanders to pilot the Transition to Trade course for schools.
“I have been really happy that we as a school, have been able to offer opportunities for our pupils to develop skills for learning, life and work both during the training element of this course and then on the worksite as part of their community project decorating the Signpost Centre.”
Any young person interested in engaging in the programme should speak with their DYW coordinator/Skills Development Scotland coordinator or guidance teacher.